7 On Your Side: Sweepstakes disappointment - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

7 On Your Side: Sweepstakes disappointment


Jimmie Tupper, 75, cried for joy when he thought he'd won a sweepstakes.

He thought it would provide money to finish building a little chapel behind his house in the country near Elton.

"I was so happy 'til I just didn't know what to do, you know I broke down and I started crying," Jimmie said.

Jimmie had received a letter in the mail saying he won, but didn't respond. Then, he received a phone call from a man saying they were on their way to bring the prize money and a new BMW.

"He called me and told me they were on their way over here with the money, that they were in Lafayette," Jimmie said. 

But there was just one catch -- the man said the Tuppers needed to pay $8,000 to cover the taxes on the prize.  That was when they knew it was a scam.

"My wife talked to him. She told him we didn't have the money. After she told him that, well she just hung up. He wanted $8,000 to pay the tax," said Jimmie.

Jimmie has been fighting prostate cancer for a number of years. He didn't lose any money, but still suffered a great hurt.

"I just wanted to do something for the Lord before something happened to me maybe," said Jimmie.

His wife, Gertie, wonders if those who perpetrate such scams have any idea how cruel they are.

"I thought that was mean because I knew it built up his hopes and, that guy, I just hope it will fall back on him to hurt people," said Gertie.

Jimmie gets choked up just thinking about it.

" It hurts in my heart, you know, to know some people try to scam poor people like that, you know," he said.

Still, the chapel is coming along as time, energy and resources allow. And the Tuppers feel blessed they lost nothing and are able to warn others.

"Maybe we can keep other people from getting hurt, you know, like we did," said Gertie.

"I didn't want anybody to be hurt no more than I was," said Jimmie.

Again, Carmen Million with the Better Business Bureau reminds people, if you have really won, they won't ask for money.

For more on protecting yourself from scams, log onto the BBB web site.

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