WV AG Warns Of Tobacco Settlement Scam


In a press release from the West Virginia Attorney General’s office, AG Patrick Morrisey alerted individuals to an online promotion that misleads consumers to believe they can receive tobacco settlement money.

The online promotion claims individuals can sign up for the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. Despite the promotion’s assertion, there is no mechanism for payments to consumers. Payments are made each year to the states and territories.

Mr. Morrissey said “Everyone likes the idea of obtaining extra money. It’s very important to ensure that promotions seeking or promising money are legitimate.”

The promotion misleads the consumer by talking about bond purchases backed by settlement money, rather than guidance on how to receive actual settlement dollars.

The end goal involves a pitch for consumers to buy a subscription to a monthly report in order to learn more. Subscribers are charged approximately $5 for the first month and $100 for a one-year subscription. It is difficult to cancel once an individual provides their credit card information.

The Master Settlement Agreement involves a settlement reached between the nation’s four largest tobacco companies and attorneys general from 46 states and territories. There is no provision for payments to individuals.

Anyone with questions should contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808, the Eastern Panhandle Consumer Protection Office in Martinsburg at 304-267-0239 or visit the office online at www.wvago.gov.

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Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle. scott@amrmail.org

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