JEFFERSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — A Jefferson County woman is sharing a warning about scammers offering to cut your satellite bill in half if you take advantage of the company’s special promotion. Once the con artist gets your attention, he then asks for money upfront on future bills and gives you a deadline to respond.

Sarah, a retired seamstress, has been a subscriber of DIRECTV for several years. She asked that we not say her last name. Right now, she pays $243 a month to bundle her service. It includes her telephone and internet plus her TV channels. She subscribes to basic satellite service. Last month, she answered an unsolicited call from a man claiming to be from her satellite company.

“He said he represented DIRECTV and he was offering half of my bill to be cut in half,” said Sarah. “He said I was also going to get. I said am I going to get the same channels? You are not going to take my channels? No, you get the same channels.”

But the guy on the phone, who really wasn’t from DIRECTV, offered to sweeten the deal—some free channels were throw-in.

“Eight channels of Cinemax, free for three years. I said, how can you do that? Well, he said, we are having a promotion. It’s because you have been a good customer and you have been here so long with us,” said Sarah.

The free channels were the bait and Sarah admitted she was excited. Then came the hook. She was told in order to get the deal, half off, she would have to pay an upfront fee, she wrote down the offer.

“$65 a month for three years on my account. That’s all I’m going to have to pay. I just needed to pay upfront for the first three months. So he said all I need from you is your code. Your PIN from AT&T,” said Sarah. “I gave him my PIN. That’s how he turned the channels on.”

With the code, he took control of her set and moved it to those free channels.

“He turned my Cinemax on right then. So, I thought this guy is on the level he is from DIRECTV,” said Sarah.

She was then directed to buy an eBay card, put $200 on it and then call him back with the number within 90 minutes, or the deal is off.

“I said, I have to go to Jefferson City, that’s about 15 miles. He said you can get back, you can get back in an hour and a half. So, I did. I ran as hard as I could, got it, brought it back, and called him, it was like five minutes to eight,” said Sarah.

Once the scammer had her money, he wanted more, but this time, Sarah wasn’t willing to give it to him.

“He got mad at me. He said I’m going to turn your TV off. I’m going to turn your whole service off. He turned my Cinemax off,” said Sarah. “Then I called DIRECTV. They said, no that is a scam. We will not ask you for any money, we have your account and we would have gone through the bank.”

AT&T does have warnings on its website about this scam. If you get one of these calls or texts, promising a promotion, don’t agree to anything over the phone. Instead, hang up, and call the number on your bill, and get the promotion in writing.

The biggest red flag with this scam and similar ones are when they ask for payment through gift cards. No matter what you’re offered, do not buy gift cards and read the numbers off the back to anyone, as the money is drained right away and it’s very tough to trace.