What is a 419 scam?

You receive a letter, email or SMS telling you that you’re going to be sent a large sum of money from the lottery, job offer, or even an inheritance. All you have to do to get this money is provide your account details for the deposit, and send a certain amount of money to ensure that the transfer goes through. In reality, a stranger wouldn’t send you a lump sum randomly, nor would there be any need for you to first part with money to receive money, unfortunately many people send thousands before they realise that they’ve been scammed.


How to spot a 419 scam
A man in a purple suit
Coins thrown in a palm
You’re randomly promised a large amount of money.
Working tools
There’s often emotional bribery involved.
An approved sign
Look out for grammar and spelling mistakes.
The scamster pretends to be someone from a legal or wealthy background.

How to protect yourself

DO NOT reply. You can either forward these emails to the South African Police Service or delete them.

Absa will NEVER ask you for your PIN, password or passcode, an OTP or your card CVV number.

Call the Absa Fraud Hotline on 0860 557 557 or +27 11 501 5089.

New scam
Contact details 

Fraud Hotline: 
0860 557  557
+27 (0) 11 501 5089

3D Secure Call Centre: 
+27 (0) 11 354 4058