Louisiana police arrest 'Nigerian prince' on 269 counts of fraud - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Louisiana police arrest 'Nigerian prince' on 269 counts of fraud

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SLIDELL, La. -

Police in Slidell, Louisiana say that after an extensive 18-month investigation, officers have arrested a man claiming to be a Nigerian prince. Police say the man is responsible for scamming people out of thousands of dollars.

You've probably gotten the email before. A Nigerian prince claims that you are the named beneficiary in a will, to inherit an estate worth a million dollars or more. Your personal financial information is needed to "prove" that you are the beneficiary and to speed the transfer of your 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 type of schemes.

Slidell Police financial crimes investigators arrested 67-year-old Michael Neu for 269 counts of wire fraud and money laundering on Thursday. Police say Neu is suspected to have been a "middle man" in the scheme, and participated in hundreds of financial transactions involving phone and internet scams designed to con money from victims across the country.

In a release Thursday, Slidell police say some of the money obtained by Neu was subsequently wired to co-conspirators in Nigeria. 

Police say their investigation continues as many of the leads have led to people who live outside the country.

This scam, along with others, are becoming a common practice all across the United States. If someone call’s you claiming to be an official of a government agency, your local utility company, a law enforcement official, or anything similar, ask for a callback number and verify the person is legitimate.

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