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"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam

The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.

Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.

Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!

Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.

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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:

Fraud email example:

From: "HENRY KAGISO THAPELO" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 10 Jul 2010 23:28:11 +0200

Dear Friend, My name is Mr. Henry Kagiso Thapelo, a staff with the Credit and Foreign Bills of Standard Bank of South Africa . I am writing you in respect of an account that belongs to a foreign customer (Mr. Chung Timothy) of our bank who died in a ghastly plane crash [Korean Air Flight 801] with the whole passengers on board on August 6, 1997. For your perusal you can view this website Ref:

Since the death of the deceased, nobody has come forward to claim his funds of US$15,500,000.00 hence I am seeking your assistance to act as the next of kin because the funds will not be released unless somebody applies. I'm giving you 25% for your assistance. Note that this is 100% risk-free business as long as you keep this confidential. Include your private Tel/Fax numbers for quick communication. If you are interested please reply only to and call me on Private Tel No: +27-73-567-2427 for further details.

Yours Sincerely,
Mr. Henry Kagiso Thapelo.
Tel No: +27-73-567-2427

Anti-fraud resources: