AG warns of possible scams in black farmers discrimination settl - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

AG warns of possible scams in black farmers discrimination settlement

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Alabama's Attorney General is issuing a warning to consumers regarding possible scams in relation to a discrimination settlement for black farmers.

AG Luther Strange's office urges caution when being approached by people or organizations looking to offer help filing claims in the Black Farmers Discrimination Litigation involving the United States Department of Agriculture.

Federal courts gave final approval for a settlement in 2011, setting aside more than $1 billion to settle claims brought by black farmers who were discriminated against between 1981 and 1996.

The deadline passed in May 2012. It is no longer possible to file claims.

"I am concerned by reports that there may be meetings in Alabama where black farmers are told that, for a fee, someone can help them file claims and participate in a federal discrimination lawsuit," said Attorney General Strange in a statement released by his office. "This is simply untrue, and farmers should not pay any money or provide personal information."

Information about the settlement is available through the toll-free number of its claims administrator, 1-877-810-8110. Among the information offered in a recorded message is that "There are no further opportunities to file a claim in this settlement regardless of what you may have heard elsewhere."           

The Attorney General's office says, "We urge consumers to be cautious with anyone who is asking for a fee or for personal information, and to contact my Consumer Protection Section if they have concerns."

The Attorney General's Consumer Protection Section may be contacted by visiting www.ago.alabama.gov or by calling its toll-free hotline at 1-800-392-5658.

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