Supposedly named after a defunct piece of Nigerian Law the 419 scam has been operating in various incarnations for years.
While most African singles looking for a date online are genuine, it cannot be denied that many online dating scams originate in African nations such as Nigeria, Ghana or Ivory Coast due to the low per capita income, high rates of unemployment, high rates of corruption and ineffective policing in these areas.
In all likelihood there is no charity and you have been robbed off your money by a scammer.
Also known as the advance fee scam this is an oldie but a goody.
Whatever creative, captivating and greed inducing story you read know this: it's a scam.
However much you send, you will never see the money again.