Chris Hansen travels to London, Amsterdam and West Africa for hidden camera investigations on the widespread problem of email scams that originate in West Africa. These scams are often referred to as 419 scams, named for the Nigerian law that makes them illegal there. The report explores how Americans are getting ripped off in these email cons and then turns the tables on the men caught in the investigations.
With more than a million cars being stolen each year, one every 30 seconds according to experts, insurance rates are rising in this country because this lucrative crime has proven to be difficult for investigators to solve. In attempt to get stolen cars back to the owners and put a dent into their community's auto theft rate, the Houston Police Department set up a fencing operation in which undercover policeman pose as criminals who buy cars and other contraband, and allowed "Dateline" to come along and capture it all on their hidden cameras. "To Catch a Car Thief," airing on Tuesday, April 10 (8:00 pm/et), offers viewers a rare glimpse into the world of undercover cops with its dangers and disappointments, risks and rewards. Victoria Corderi goes undercover with the Houston Police Department and then confronts the men caught in fencing operation.