It turns out those emails from ‘Nigerian Princes’ needing your help with a bank transfer, are not from princes, or even Nigerians! Police in USA, have arrested an American man connected to the email fishing scam.

Most people on the internet have received a suspicious email at some point, that is offering vast riches for very little work. These fishing emails are often generalised as the ‘Nigerian prince emails’ in popular culture. However, many people were surprised to see the face behind one of the scams, did not look like a ‘Nigerian prince’ to them.

According to USA Today “Michael Neu, 67 of Slidell, La., was arrested on wire fraud and money laundering charges in connection with a “Nigerian prince” scam, according to the Slidell Police Department.

USA Today reported:

A Louisiana man was arrested in connection with the “Nigerian prince” scheme that has scammed people out of thousands of dollars, police announced Thursday.
Michael Neu, 67, faces 269 counts of wire fraud and money laundering after being taken into custody following an 18-month investigation, according to the Slidell Police Department. Police said Neu is suspected of being the scam’s “middle man” who obtained money and “subsequently wired” funds to his co-conspirators in Nigeria.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, 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.

Hopefully, this arrest will help people realise most Nigerians do not commit fraud and the stereotype is detrimental to those leading a lawful life.

Fraud is a crime that is committed in most nations around the world, especially on the internet.

“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.

Common fishing scams include:

  • “Your transaction has failed”- an email stating a purchase you did not make has failed. The scam wants you to click on a link and give your bank details to the scammers. Often this email comes from someone pretending to be Apple, Netflix or your local government.
  • Your webcam has been activated and people have watched you masturbate- This is a pretty scary email for many people. It involves proclaiming to have footage of a person’s most intimate moment and threatens to release that footage to the world. However, although, it is possible to take control of someone else’s webcam, it is very unlikely it has happened to you. This is simply a copy and pastes message sent to as many people as possible to see who will panic reply and give money. Tip: For peace of mind, put a piece of black tape across your webcam and only remove it when you are actually using your webcam.
  • “Local singles”- This email is from someone pretending to be a potential lover. They say they want to meet or exchange pictures. Fun Fact: random people are not going to email you requesting to have sex with you. So do not reply!

This is just a small selection of the many ways scammers try to obtain your personal details. Be safe and clearly check the address of any email you send and receive. Most importantly, think twice before giving your personal information and clicking links in suspicious emails.

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