The true story that inspired the movie ‘Hustlers’

"20/20" looks at the story of a team of women involved in the scam who conspired to swindle men out of hundreds of thousands of dollars at NYC strip clubs.
3:00 | 09/13/19

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Transcript for The true story that inspired the movie ‘Hustlers’
But now to the real-life story that inspired the highly anticipated movie, I'm seeing it tonight, "Hustlers," to swindle men out of hundreds of thousands. A conspiracy to drug them and then run up huge charges on their credit cards. Well, now we are hearing from two of those women and one of their victims. What's happening? It's the real-life scam. Are you married? Uh-huh. Ah, that sucks. Reporter: That inspired a It is rigged and does not reward people who play by the rues. Reporter: For the first time we're hearing from one of the ringleaders of the hustle. In the movie "Hustlers" Constance Wu is playing the character inspired by my life. The character played by Jennifer Lopez is inspired by Samantha barbash, the ringleader. Reporter: From one of their victims who after three dates thought he was falling in love only to find he was really being taken for a ride. There was a message left by American Express and said there were excessive charges, close to $100,000. I can't believe you did this to me. You spent all this money on my credit card. She turned immediately red and I told her you're nothing but a thief and a swindler. I don't want to see you or talk to you ever again. I was definitely apologetic. I definitely 100% felt bad because I didn't even know his bill was that high until I had found out from scores' manager and from Samantha. He thought he had a girlfriend and thought he was in a romance. Reporter: Now given the Hollywood treatment with a-list stars like Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez. It's a slippery slope. It's easy to kind of go down the wrong path if you let yourself. I'm god at that. Reporter: And cardi B who once worked in New York City strip clubs and spoke about how a woman could be pushed into a hustle. I got so tired of constantly meeting men, touching me, they just make you feel like I don't care -- I don't care. I'm going to hustle you because I know you're trying to hustle my body. That's how I felt like a lot. Reporter: The scam coming to an end in 2014 after authorities set up a sting using an undercover agent. Gave him a bump of blow. We were afraid he actually -- I was moving my leg, shaking, like, hey, I'm okay. Reporter: The real-life scammers eventually taken into On the day of my arrest they come to my house early in the morning. I was taken into handcuffs. It's like, oh, my god. The whole world, everybody knows what I did. Now, both women in the piece took plea deals. No one spent much time in jail but authorities warning scams like this one could still be going on all around the country. Men may just be too embarrassed to come forward. The club scores said it had nothing to do with the scam and has never been charged. You can see much more tonight on "20/20" at 10:00 P.M., 9:00 central right here on ABC.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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