If all that comes to your mind whenever internet scam is mentioned is one Igbo boy somewhere in Asaba or Lagos, it’s high time you reconsidered.
The police has arrested Michael Neu, a 67-year-old man in Slidell, Louisiana. This follows an 18-month investigation in connection with a series of Nigerian prince email scams. The man is suspected of being a middleman for a group in Nigeria that used the scam to get money from unsuspecting people, the Slidell Police Department announced on Facebook.
The “Nigerian prince” email scam is one of the most notorious cyber cimes out there, and the people behind it may have hit a bit of a snag after one of their alleged co-conspirators was arrested in Louisiana on Thursday.
Neu, is suspected of facilitating these transfers of money from victims to his co-conspirators. He faces 269 counts of wire fraud and money laundering, having participated in hundreds of scam transactions.
According to the Police Department, investigation is ongoing, but can be extremely difficult because many leads point toward people who live outside the United States. Although Neu himself is not Nigerian, the police stated that money acquired by Neu was wired to people in Nigeria.
Let this be a lesson to anyone on the internet: if a stranger is soliciting you for money, it’s probably not a good idea to just hand it over to them.