A 67-year-old American man has been arrested in connection with the “Nigerian prince” scheme that has scammed people out of thousands of dollars.
Michael Neu faces 269 counts of wire fraud and money laundering after being taken into custody following an 18-month investigation.
Slidell Police Department said the Louisiana man is suspected of being the scam’s “middle man” who obtained money and “subsequently wired” funds to his co-conspirators in Nigeria.
U.S officials said the phishing scam begins with an email purporting to be from a high-ranking Nigerian official who seeks financial assistance or personal information to retrieve an alleged inheritance.
“Most people laugh at the thought of falling for such a fraud, but law enforcement officials report annual losses of millions of dollars to these schemes,” the Slidell police said in a statement.
Authorities warn to be cautious when receiving suspicious emails or phone calls from unknown individuals and urge people not to disclose personal or financial information.