Most people who use emails have likely received a message that says it was from a Nigerian prince or ones offering hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions in inheritances or for large payment for helping to launder money from royal treasuries and huge mining conglomerates.
Slidell, Louisiana police say they have finally caught one of the people behind part of those emails, and he is not exactly your Nigerian prince type, said police on a Facebook post.
Michael Neu, who is 67 and from Slidell, Louisiana, is facing 269 money laundering and wire fraud counts following an investigation of 18 months, wrote police. The police say that Neu was part of hundreds of transactions that involved online and telephone scams to con money form people in the U.S.
In the scams, the Nigerian prince or official asks for the personal banking data of the person that is called in order to speed up the transfer of the inheritance or to temporarily hold funds that have allegedly been pilfered. That information is then used to allegedly steal funds from accounts the victims have.
While Mr. Neu does not have a royal title, but a large portion of the money obtained through his scamming did go to Nigerian co-conspirators, wrote police.
The investigators continue to untangle the different scams carried out by Neu, but many additional leads connect people who are outside the United States.
Police added that while the emails in general are laughable, far too many people are scammed out of money each year to the tune of millions of dollars.
Slidell police chief Randy Fandal put it simply, “if its sounds too good to be true it likely is.” He added that no one should ever give personal information to anyone on the phone or in emails. In addition, he said you should not wire large sums of money to people who you do not know.
Agencies in law enforcement across the U.S. are also warning people about calls from people who purport to be court officials or the police demanding the person make a payment on the phone for bogus warrants or fines.
One other scam is where scammers claim they are jailed relatives of the person who answered and plead for bail money. These types of calls are constantly targeting older people.
Calls from telephone scammers increase during this time of the year because of the holidays.