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BELL CITY, LA (KPLC) -
We often hear about people notified they've won a sweepstakes.
The Graggs got the call, but they were too savvy to fall for the scheme despite true persistence from those trying to get their money.
The Graggs live in the country in the Bell City area where normally the only predators are a few coyotes and alligators now and then. That's until the phone rings. And Val Gragg tells the caller, who is from outside the United States, not to call again.
"I've informed the FBI and the Better Business Bureau about your call. If you call again, you will be prosecuted. You understand this? Do you understand this? DO YOU UNDERSTAND THIS? DO NOT CALL THIS NUMBER AGAIN!! EVER! Do you understand this? Do you understand? Do not call this number again. Say you understand!," said Gragg, his voice elevated at times.
The family's episode with an unwanted caller started a week or so ago when someone with a 876 area code called and told Val's 73-year-old mom that she had won a multi-million dollar sweepstakes and an expensive new car.
"This guy was telling her she won $3.8 million and a Mercedes Benz from Publisher's Clearinghouse. And her told her all this information, even gave her a license number and said it was a Louisiana license number," Gragg said.
To claim the prize, well you've heard it before, she was to wire money.
"She had to send him $199 via Western Union to collect the $3.8 million and the Mercedes Benz," Gragg said.
But she did not fall for it.
"It scares me. Not that I so much think that she would fall for it, but so many people fall for it all the time and this can't keep going on. There needs to be some type of tougher regulation or monitoring," Gragg said
Gragg is speaking out because he wants to keep other people from falling for the sweepstakes scam.
"People be careful. Please be careful. Don't let someone over the phone get you to send them money," Gragg said.
As usual in these scams, it was an 876 area code from Jamaica. For more tips on these kind of scams and what to look out for click here.