WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA9) -- Roger Brink hit the jackpot, so he thought, after he received a fake Publishers Clearinghouse letter.
The sweepstakes claimed he won a card and $850,000 in cash.
"It's just not so," he says.
Roger called to claim his prize but was told to send $6,000 on a prepaid card to cover expenses. He mailed the money, but never received any winnings. It was all a con.
He says, "They kept saying at 3 o'clock today you'll have everything. Well, they didn't and I don't."
Even worse, Brink could be targeted again by scammers.
"Because there are lists of people it's called a suckers list," says Sally Greenberg.
Greenberg is with the National Consumers League and says con artists overseas created the list.
"They make billions of dollars scamming consumers around the world and they trade information," she says.
The one piece of information they trade, names of people who've fallen for previous scams.
"The fraudsters will call the previous victim and say I know that you lost $10,000, for a mere $1,000 we're going to help you get all that money back. And that should be a red flag that is yet another scam," Sally Greenberg says.
Scams involving sweepstakes are very common. Publishers Clearinghouse says it never asks winners to pay to claim a prize. Brink learned that lesson the hard way.
So, protect yourself.
Hang up on anyone who calls and says you must wire money to receive any sweepstakes winnings
Contact your local and state attorney's general office and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
And, never, ever give out your personal information, credit or bank account to anyone.