The Advance Fee Fraud Coalition was launched in 2008 by its founding members, Microsoft Corp, Yahoo! Inc., The Western Union Company and the African Development Bank, to raise global awareness among consumers of the threat posed by lottery hoax e-mails, a common form of advance fee fraud. The collaborative effort was designed to educate internet users so they are better able to protect themselves against fraudulent activities online. Because of the international and elaborate nature of advance fee fraud, the Coalition believes that no company, no law enforcement unit, and no industry can solve this problem alone.
Subsequent to its founding, the Coalition established a broad set of goals that range from providing preventive consumer education, streamlining the process of identifying accounts used by fraudsters to communicate and obtain payments, and identifying ways of driving enforcement.