A Louisiana man is facing charges related to his alleged involvement in an email scam believed to have bilked thousands of dollars out of its victims.
Slidell police say 67-year-old Michael Neu was a “middle man” in the operation who convinced unsuspecting individuals to send money in promise of a larger return as part of the infamous so-called “Nigerian prince” scams.
In such frauds, potential victims receive an offer, usually by someone claiming to represent Nigerian royalty, of cash or some other valuable in exchange for assistance. Invariably, that assistance includes an upfront transfer of money attributed to some sort of fee.
Neu is facing 269 charges related to wire fraud and money laundering, according to the Huffington Post.
Investigators believe Neu contacted victims by phone and online in attempts to con them out of money.
As WGNO reported, Louisiana authorities used the arrest spotlight the persistent threat these scams pose.
“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” Slidell Police Chief Randy Fandal wrote in a Facebook statement about the case.
He went on to urge resident not to “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.”
Such requests are almost always fraudulent, he wrote.
Though a large portion of the populations is generally aware of the ubiquitous Nigerian prince scams, some experts believe the criminals behind them intentionally make them appear fake to weed out all but the recipients most likely to fall victim to the fraud.
[Featured image: Michael Neu/Slidell Police Department]