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Wisconsin DOJ warns about tobacco settlement online scam

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A woman smokes a cigarette on September 6, 2012 in Paris. AFP PHOTO ERIC FEFERBERG (Photo credit should read ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/GettyImages)

MADISON — The state Department of Justice is warning consumers about an online scam that tricks people into thinking they can get a share of Wisconsin’s tobacco settlement.

DOJ officials say the promotion asks people to sign up for payments through Money Map Press and to provide their billing information to subscribe to a monthly report on the funds. But all they receive is information about investing in settlement-backed bonds.

Forty-six states reached a settlement with the largest American tobacco companies in 1998 that calls for the companies to pay $206 billion over 25 years to compensate governments for the costs of treating smokers’ health problems. Assistant Attorney General Robert Bresette said Thursday that the settlement doesn’t offer individual payments.

An email sent to Money Map Press seeking comment wasn’t immediately returned.