• Contact Information

    First Judicial District Attorney's Office, Power Against Fraud


    Monday - Friday
    8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

    Contact Us

    Fraud Hotline


    Program Coordinator

    Cary Johnson, csjohnso@jeffco.us

  • Jefferson County District Attorney Banner
  • Foreign Lotteries


    If it looks to good to be true…

    Foreign lotteries are illegal in the United States. It doesn’t matter whether the solicitations originate from Canada, the Caribbean, England, Ireland, Germany or Nigeria. They are all illegal.

    Scammers change their schemes slightly as time passes. They may send a very legitimate-looking check, saying it is meant to cover fees. Banks will typically cash these checks because they may appear authentic. Many people feel safe sending the "required" fees when the money from the check shows in their account, but when the check returns days later and the victim discovers that he or she has been defrauded. Please know that your bank will not return money sent to crooks running a foreign lottery.

    Once your money is gone, there is generally nothing that law enforcement can do to pursue the scammers. With cell phone technology today, it is often not possible to identify where the scam originated.

    Prevention Advice:

    • Never respond to a phone call, letter or email saying that you’ve won a foreign lottery. Remember, foreign lotteries are illegal in the United States;
    • Avoid entering any sweepstakes or lotteries because your name will be added to marketing lists that are eventually purchased by scammers;
    • Protect yourself by never agreeing to send money anywhere based on a phone call, letter you receive in the mail or email;
    • Send a brief letter asking to OPT OUT, or be removed from, marketing lists. Mail to:
      Mail Preference Service
      P.O. Box 643, Carmel, NY 10512
      Include your name, address, and $1. Sign the letter. Your name will be removed from lottery, sweepstakes and junk mail lists;
    • Remember, if it looks to good to be true, it probably is.

    Please call the district attorney's Fraud Line at 303-271-6980 or email casefraudline@jeffco.us for more assistance. 

    Also see International Lotteries-Sweepstakes for more information.

    Last Updated: 7-5-2017