Beshear: Scammers posing as the AG’s Office

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Scam Alert
Graphic courtesy: MGN Online

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Attorney General Andy Beshear issued a scam alert Friday to warn Kentuckians of a prize scam circulating that uses the Office of the Attorney General to try and scare Kentuckians into sending money over wire transfer.  

Beshear said his office was contacted today after a Louisville resident received what appeared to be a legitimate letter from the Office of the Attorney General – including an official looking seal, a photo of the attorney general and a fake signature – asking for state tax payment on a $5.5 million prize the resident allegedly won from “American Family Publishers.”

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The letter specifically states that the “Money Monetary Law” applies to legal citizens who reside in Kentucky and receive a lump sum payment equal to or greater than $500,000, and instructed the resident to wire transfer $10,000 to an unknown bank account.

 The resident responded by transferring the money.

Beshear said there is no “Money Monetary Law” in Kentucky that requires both the Internal Revenue Service and the Office of the Attorney General to work together to collect state income taxes for prize winnings, as the letter claims.

The Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Protection is actively working to recover the funds the resident transferred, and is warning all Kentuckians to be on the lookout for this scam.

Beshear said the best way to identify a prize scam is to know that legitimate sweepstakes do not make you pay a fee in order to win, and that includes paying taxes and shipping or processing fees.

“The fact that these scammers are impersonating the very office working to shut them down is beyond belief and shows the extent they are willing to go to scam Kentuckians,” Beshear said. “My office is working hard to find those behind this scam and every other scam that families and seniors are faced with every day. With Kentuckians facing this and similar scams that mimic my office, I would ask everyone to reach out on any questionable materials they receive from those claiming to be with the attorney general’s office, and to not take any action until doing so.”   

To report a scam to the Office of the Attorney General, dial 888-432-9257 or file a consumer complaint online.

To stay up to date on new and trending scams Kentuckians should sign up to receive Scam Alerts from the Office of the Attorney General. To enroll, text the words KYOAG Scam to GOV311 (468311), or enroll online at ag.ky.gov/scams and select text message or email alert.

 

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.