Louisiana man charged in 'Nigerian prince' internet scam

Michael Neu

Michael Neu

A Louisiana man was arrested for helping scam thousands of dollars out of pople using a "Nigerian prince" scheme.

The people behind these messages claim to be officials, businesspeople, or the surviving spouses of former government honchos in Nigeria or another country whose money is tied up temporarily.

Michael Neu, 67, was arrested this week following an 18-month investigation by Slidell Police Department's Financial Crimes Division.

Michael Neu, 67, was a middle-man in a scam that involved co-conspirators in Nigeria, report says.

The investigation is still pending due to its worldwide reach, but authorities said the money Neu allegedly stole had been wired to a third-party in Nigeria.

The "Nigerian prince" scam usually starts with an email purportedly from a Nigerian prince or another exotic figure who reaches out for help in transferring a sizable inheritance they are about to receive. They just have to share their bank account number and other personal financial information.

He said, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is".

Police said that their investigation is continuing, but has been hampered by the fact that many of those accused of involvement in the scheme live outside the U.S. Never give out personal information over the phone, through email, cash checks for other individuals, or wire large amounts of money to someone you don't know. Though the scam has been around for years, many still fall victim to it.

Law enforcement agencies across the nation also are warning people of calls from scammers purporting to be police or court officials demanding payment via phone of bogus fines or warrants.

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