FraudWatchers.Org is a virtual organization. That means that we have no actual head office, no branch offices, and no outlets anywhere in the world. We have no direct contact telephone numbers, and no physical locations. We are not
a Law Enforcement agency, and we do not have any official jurisdiction to effect legal process apart from those given as a right to every citizen. Due to the nature of what we do, and why we do it, it is understandable that we have the absolute need for protective layers of collective and personal anonymity.
We consist of a group of several unpaid volunteers in locations around the world, who devote our personal time, effort and energies to combatting internet fraud. Some of us have had law enforcement or legal experience, some have been in the military. Others have themselves felt the effects, both directly and indirectly, of the results of being scammed; all of us, however, have various related skills, expertise and experience that we bring to bear as a combined force, to make the general internet public aware of these crimes.
Internet fraud has reached epidemic proportions. It is almost impossible to gauge accurately how much money has been lost to scammers over the years, but it is certainly in the tens of billions of dollars. Several hundreds of thousands of people have been defrauded through the medium of the internet, whether through fake retail purchases, non-existent visa application fees, promises of a non-existent fortune from Africa and hundreds of other scenarios.
Law Enforcement has jurisdiction in its own areas, and thus are often frustrated at their restrictions for further investigation, as the vast majority of these crimes reach out across international borders; often perpetrated by criminals based in a nation that is in itself, corrupt, and unable (or unwilling) to cooperate with other national police forces. Interpol are a liaison unit, without any power (per se) of carrying out investigations or making arrests. Their progress and powers are greatly diminished when faced with uncooperative agencies.
This leaves but one effective weapon in the armory; education. The facility to be able to reach out to as many people as possible using the same medium, means that the ability to assist individuals and groups in recognizing these scams, and to support them in understanding how they can be vanquished, is utilizing the true benefit of what is the dangerously two-edged sword known as the internet.
In doing so, we have created a website that allows not only our personal editorial opinions to be published, but also to give all internet users the opportunity of relating their own experiences by virtue of forum posts. These are varied; some are heartbreakingly sad; others are, in some cases, humorous; others can be quite uplifting. All are, however, compelling - being the direct target of these crimes leaves a very bitter taste, and there are many people who cannot, dare not, publish their accounts.
There will always be judgement calls on what should and should not be published on websites such as ours; however, although we do operate a strict policy of posting etiquette (as described within our Guidelines) we will not censor or disallow any posts that offer reasoned opinion and/or conclusion, nor any that are based on verifiable or proven facts. Bear in mind that as soon as someone knowingly and willingly publishes (or allows for publication) their personal or business information to the internet, it becomes, to an extent, public domain. Internet search tools and facilities now make it easier to carry out quite intensive research about a given subject or topic, and one of our goals is to assist that research as it relates to internet fraud.
The server on which this website is housed, is located in the United States of America, and is subject to any and all laws and legislation applicable to that country. This includes civil matters of defamation and libel. In this regard, I would draw the attention of the reader to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which states:
We, FraudWatchers.Org (the virtual organization), provide the facility for people to be able to publish and discuss narratives, anecdotes and reports, as we have the unequivocal editorial right to publish ours; however, at the same time we have absolutely no compunction in calling a situation as we see it, and as presented to us by the facts. We will not condone any type of fraudulent activity, irrespective of the status, location, identity, ethnicity or religion of the perpetrator.
Should anyone have any problems or issues regarding anything that has been posted on our website, they should, in the first instance, send an email to:
ensuring that the subject line is prefixed with the characters QLEGAL
(to avoid spam) and giving precise details of any alleged claim. FraudWatchers will address them as soon as we can, although this could take up to several days. We ask for your patience, and we thank you for your cooperation.
Fighting frauds and scams is indeed a full time activity, and we would like to thank all of our Law Enforcement members for the wonderful contributions they have all made, visible and invisible, direct and indirect, and requested and volunteered, to our common cause.