That Nigerian Prince Emailing You for Money Just Got Arrested

His name is "Mike"

August 3, 2016 9:00 am

Nigerian email scams might be an internet joke of the past thanks to this week’s real-life bust.

A 40-year old man in Nigeria known only as “Mike” was just arrested for his role in running a scam email network.

According to Interpol, Mike oversaw a team of 40 individuals who participated in thousands of different email rackets worth more than $60 million. Additionally, Mike’s team headed up a money-laundering network in China, Europe and the U.S.

According to the BBC, the Nigerian scammer used a variety of different tricks to con people out of their money, from the high-tech (malware that hijacked people’s computers) to the decidedly low-tech (“romance scams“).

“In one case, a target was conned into paying out $15.4 million,” Interpol said in a statement.

While “Nigerian email scams” seem antiquated, their surprisingly continued success stems from sheer dedication. If the scammers send out thousands of requests for money — a rather inexpensive ask on their end — they only need a very small response rate to make a profit.

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