American, 67, posing as Nigerian prince held for email scam

Michael Neu

Michael Neu

Police say Neu scammed people out of thousands of dollars as a middleman for one of the notorious "Nigerian prince" internet scams.

While this is now a "laughable" crime, at one point the "Nigerian Prince" scam stole almost $100 million from Americans, and even though awareness and the government have aided its decline, Neu's arrest is a reminder to citizens about the lengths they should go to protect themselves.

The police in Louisiana has arrested an American advance fee fraudster posing as a Nigerian prince. He's not exactly Nigerian royalty, either, police wrote in a Facebook post.

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Specifics were not included about the scam or the case against Neu but authorities did say that some of the money was wired to a third party in Nigeria.

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

The well-known scam often starts with an email from a "Nigerian prince" or an equivalent high ranking official who needs assistance to retrieve an inheritance.

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Neu is suspected to have been the "middle man", and participated in hundreds of financial transactions, involving phone and internet scams, created to con money from victims across the United States. They just have to share their bank account number and other personal financial information. Investigators said many leads have led to individuals who live outside of the United States.

Slidell police Chief Randy Fandal warned that people should, "never give out personal information over the phone or 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.

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