Attorney General Alan Wilson Alerts Consumers to Deceptive Tobacco Settlement Promotion

(Columbia, S.C.) – June 15, 2017 Today, Attorney General Alan Wilson alerted the public to an online promotion that misleads consumers to believe they can receive tobacco settlement money.

The online promotion claims individuals can sign up to claim thousands of dollars per month from the tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. The advertisement promises that individuals may receive a tax-free portion of the tobacco Master Settlement Agreement and that this money is guaranteed by the government. In reality, this advertisement entices citizens to enter a credit card number for a monthly subscription in order to learn about purchasing tobacco revenue bonds. Attorney General Wilson warned consumers that once they provide a credit card number, it may be difficult to cancel the monthly subscription and obtain a refund.

Despite the online promotion’s assertion, there is no mechanism for individuals to apply to the State for tobacco Master Settlement Agreement payments.

In 1998, 46 states, 5 territories, and the District of Columbia signed the Master Settlement Agreement with the four largest tobacco companies in the U.S. to settle multiple state lawsuits brought to recover billions of dollars in health-care costs associated with treating smoking-related illnesses. The central purpose of the Master Settlement Agreement is to reduce smoking, especially in American youth, and to reimburse the States’ health-care costs. There is no fund for private citizens to apply to receive Master Settlement Agreement funds that come to the State each year.

Questions concerning the tobacco Master Settlement Agreement may be directed to the Attorney General’s Office at (803) 734-3970 or by email to sctobacco@scag.gov.

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Columbia, SC

Rembert Dennis Building | 1000 Assembly Street,

Room 519 | Columbia, S.C. 29201

Phone: 1-803-734-3970 | Fax: (803) 253-6283

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