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Due to the increase in letters and e-mails originating from Nigeria (and sometimes other places), the Nigerian government organized the Nigerian Fraud Watch in an attempt to educate the public about advance fee fraud, or its more common term of 419 fraud. The Fraud Watch established a website at www.nigerianfraudwatch.org and serves as a repository for all things related to stopping or reducing losses from 419 fraud. The site mentions that profits from this scam are often used for smuggling or drug trafficking.

On the site, you will find samples of letters that have originated from the scammers to show people what to watch out for when they read their snail mail or e-mail. Also included are ways to trace calls and phone numbers because the Nigerian telecommunications network is in its developmental stages. The site claims one phone per 10,000 people is the ratio for phone usage. The scammers usually have cell phones so it is more difficult to trace them.

The best service the Fraud Watch offers is the ability to send in fraud reports. The Fraud Watch will take these reports and use them as evidence to shut down 419 operations.

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