18-month investigation ends with alleged scammer brought in on 269 charges of Wire Fraud and Money Laundering.
Police in Slidell, Louisiana arrested 67-year-old Michael Neu on suspicion of acting as a middle man in hundreds of questionable financial transactions which they say were used to con money from victims across the United States.
The trope of the wealthy Nigerian prince who needs your help claiming a million dollars of lost inheritance isn’t new to most people. You might be surprised to find that this particular scheme has been used since the early 20th century since it first appeared in a newspaper as the brainchild of a rather devious 14-year-old boy. The Prince in that story was lonely for American pen pals. After a few letters, the Prince had a simple request: He wished his new friend would send him four dollars and an old pair of pants they no longer needed. In exchange he would send them ivory and diamonds; resources his country had in plenty and which he himself had no need of. It’s not known how many pairs of pants the scheme netted before it was shut down, but I like to envision a basement filled to the brim with Levis and Jordaches, all waiting their turn to be sold at a secondhand shop nearby.
One can assume Neu wasn’t working for blue jeans.. Slidell police say law enforcement report annual losses of millions of dollars to these sort of scams. When we hear that most of us shake our heads in amazement at how gullible or greedy “those” people are. Maybe they are, or maybe they simply wanted to believe they were a part of something bigger than themselves. Maybe they had a couple spare dollars and a pair of blue jeans and a dream of African ivory? It’s not for us to judge, just to figure out how we will react when faced with a similar situation.
For more on some common internet scams, see this site here: https://www.moneycrashers.com/common-email-internet-scams/