An Oklahoma couple said sweepstakes scammers have tried to rip them off three times and they think there is a reason they are being targeted.
"Three million bucks is what they told us, I mean she was excited," said Jerry Summers.
Jerry and Cassandra Summers thought their constant attempts with buying into the Publisher's Clearing House Sweepstakes had finally paid off.
"She goes, ‘Honey we just won $3 million,' and I said, ‘What?' and she goes, ‘Yeah, a person on the phone just called,'" Summers explained.
The caller said all the Summers' had to do to get their prize was get a $500 Western Union money transfer or put $500 on a pre-paid card that can be accessed remotely using the card numbers.
"That's whenever I told my wife, I said, ‘This, this is fake,'" Summers recalled.
Cassandra Summers is disabled. She has neuropathy and an autoimmune disorder. The Summers' think her condition is why the same scammers have called them three different times on their three different phones. One time, the caller said the Summers' had won $8 million and another time, it was $15 million.
"Because they know that they're on low income, disability or social security and any amount of cash, when you persuade them is going to sound good," Summers said.
The Oklahoma Attorney General's Office said there are several versions of this scam, but no legitimate lottery ever requires winners to pay for their prize.
News 9 called the same Oklahoma number that called the Summers' earlier this week, but the call would not go through. Unfortunately, the AG's office said many scam calls are rerouted from overseas or offshore, so tracking the criminal is nearly impossible.
"Basically they are salesmen and once they get you, it's over. You can't get your money back," Summers added.
This is such a successful scam, Publisher's Clearing House lists how the scammers tactics operate on their web site to warn others. However, people are still falling for it. The best protection is do not answer your phone if you do not recognize the number.
If you ever get called by a scam, you need to file a consumer complaint with the state attorney general's office so they can look into it. You can also call (405) 521-2029, or send an email to PublicProtection@oag.ok.gov