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Police in Slidell, Louisiana arrested a White man on Thursday for his role in cheating people out of thousands of dollars in the infamous “Nigerian Prince” scam that has claimed victims worldwide, The Times-Picayune reported.

SEE ALSO: Nigerian Student Swindles Companies Out Of $3.7 Million In Email Scam

“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,” Slidell police said.

Cops nabbed Michael Neu after an 18-month investigation and charged him with 269 counts of wire fraud and money laundering. Neu, 67, was a middle man in the email scam, claiming to be a Nigerian prince in messages sent to victims. Some recipients gave him their personal financial information in exchange for the promise of a big financial reward.

The Nigerian prince scam is a new variation of a swindle that first emerged in the 1920s called the “Spanish Prisoner Con”, according to Lifewire.com. It all revolves around convincing the target to advance money to help a wealthy aristocrat who is more than willing to repay the kindness.

Here are three other common fraudulent schemes that trap unsuspecting victims:

1. Guaranteed credit card or loan

Beware of applying for a “pre-approved” loan or a credit card that charges an up-front fee. Legitimate credit card companies may charge an annual fee but it’s added to the balance.

2. Employment scam

Con artists will obtain contact information from online resumes and offer the victim a job, typically with a fake company. To accept the job offer, the victim fills out a job application that includes questions about banking information and social security number.

3. Lottery scam

In this scheme the target receives an announcement via email or phone of winning a huge amount of money in some type of lottery or raffle. Here’s the catch: there’s a “processing” fee to collect the money.

SOURCE:  The Times Picayune, Lifewire.com

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