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FIRST ON 3: African-American scammers targeting local black community with Black Farmers Settlement

READ MORE: FIRST ON 3: African-American scammers targeting local black community with Black Farmers Settlement

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Scammers taking advantage of the federal government's Black Farmers Settlement are targeting the local black community.

Word got out that if you showed up Friday at the Ekklesia United Holy Church on 17th Street near Market, filled out an online form, then had it notarized on site for $20, you could apply to receive part of the proposed $1 billion settlement. The qualifications to apply for the settlement are very strict and only apply to very few black farmers and their families.

Officials tell us the online form is free to download and does not need to be notarized. It's also illegal to charge more than $5 for a notary stamp in North Carolina. A spokesman for the Black Farmers Claims Administrator, the independent group overseeing the settlement, says what's going on in Wilmington is "a total scam."

"Anyone soliciting clients indicating that they can get them into this lawsuit, by paying any amount of money is a scam," said Greg Francis, who is part of the Black Farmers Lawsuit Council. "There's no way to pay to be in this lawsuit at this point."

Francis says they have heard of these scams happening in other places around the country. He says they typically notify the United States Department of Justice.

We went inside the church looking for someone in charge. Everyone we talked with said no was in charge was there. The people taking applications also scooped up their forms and left while we were trying to get answers.

Det. Kevin Smith with the Wilmington Police Department says exchanging $20 for a notary stamp isn't fraud, because it's payment for a service. However, he says paying $20 for a worthless piece of paper is definitely a scam.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


More disrespect

was shown by those who chose to run their scam from a house of worship. Images of the dishonest tax collectors in the temple come to my mind and we all know how he was handled.


Jesus saw corruption in the Temple and overturned the tables of the money changers who were ripping off God's people in God's House. Tell Jesus he should have waited outside!


if the Church rented the facility to the "scammers" than would you not think that changes the formula and sets aside "the sanctity" of the sanctuary?

Was there not an incident in the Bible where Jesus chased the money lenders from the temple?

Not that the reporter is Jesus, but when the Church is used for something other than what it is intended for, than that does set aside the sanctity.

And this program was to benefit local residents. Why would the Church charge a fee; and I must confess I saw no reference of a fee being charged.

It seems to me, some years back, the media "invaded" the sanctity of Jim and Tammy Faye Baker's church when it became apparent they were soliciting millions illegally. Didn't Jim go to jail?

And maybe, with some of the recent reports of Pastoral abuse of youthful members, there should be more oversight to protect the youth and uninformed.

Did the Church governing body do any investigation, prior to opening the temple doors, to ensure the organizers were not running a scam?


You're mad cause the TV people came in to "gods house" But its OK that unscrupulous thieves were in there ripping people off???? You just mad cause you didnt get your cut of the profits ? LOL you christians never fail to crack me up.

"House of Worship "

You have to be kidding me.

Your "house of worship" is more like the den of thieves. All I saw today were vipers.

Where did the people from Virginia do they're farming at? The vegetable isle at Food Lion?

"The church of whats happening now" needs to lose tax exempt status, and every moocher that was trying to get something for nothing arrested.

"this church obviously believed it was doing a service to the community by allowing them to rent the space for that time period".
OH PLEEEEZZZ. I'm sure they researched the project well.

What your really saying is "Damn TV3 for having the nads to walk right into a PUBLIC CHURCH", and catch crooks in the act. If you were really honest, you'd be thanking Channel 3 for exposing deadbeat, mooching, thieves.

Where do all the ACORN stooges go when the money dries up?
CHURCH and the liquor store.

I hope the detectives view the video, and investigate every single one there. No doubt there would be a few wanted for parking tickets, child support, or other crimes that they can't resist the cheese.

Obviously, the two church going women in the interview were happy the cameras showed up to document the event. Instead of thanking TV3 for exposing the fraud, they were beside themselves that they had been caught on film for EVERYONE IN TOWN to see. They sure didn't act like they were glad someone put a stop to the fraud.

Evidently, whoever gave permission for this project was responsible to the church for what went down. Maybe we need the "SHEPARD AND THE SHEEP" to go downtown and give statements to the Detective Ken Smith.

Your lame excuses cant cover that what happened was evil, a scam, and an RIP OFF RIP OFF RIP OFF RIP OFF

"A church is a place of worship". Maybe they should have kept it that way, instead of trying to get their 30 pieces of silver.
IF Jesus was there he would have driven them all out and givening him an he still has a ship to sackh

And when does the house of

And when does the house of God become a house of crime. Shame on you for thinking you can hide behind the walls of your religion. More than this, your want to take advantage of someone for your own gain. Can you pray for forgiveness. Yes you can, but you will still be the same person when you die. Maybe God will forgive you.


And I do agree, all the unhappy white people that love to read the papers and get a little drop of happiness out of seeing what bad happened to the blacks or what blacks have done. But yet they are the ones who are all through the papers with killing there families for or over money.

So all of those people who

So all of those people who got shot attempting to rob the convenient stores are white? How about the fella on orange street the other day that the two white fellas held down until the police got there. Was he white too? Oh and how about the shootings in Creekwood and the stabbing on Dawson street. Were all of those people white? What rock do you live under if you think that the only criminals showing up on the news are white?


RACIST much???

Free money or (NOT)!I know

Free money or (NOT)!I know that each and everyone of you would be there if it was benefiting you. Taking average of the local black community is still (NOT) right no matter what circumstances are!

free money

the people that lined up for farmers money are a bunch of dirtbags,
why are they not being investigated for attempted goverment fraud
isn't it funny they got taken while trying to rip off the goverment
and the police are only investigating one half of the criminals

OK one part is a scam but

OK one part is a scam but you should look into the whole story see the reason folks are due this money. But they have certain requirements that you must meet most of this people are no longer with us SO WHY CAN'T THEY FAMILY GET THEIR MONEY..... what you want to give it to the government?


ITS NOT YOUR MONEY...its not the GUBments EITHER!!!


Did these folks have to show Picture ID; maybe they thought it was time to vote.
Mo money, mo money mo money!!!!

Serves them right. I hope

Serves them right. I hope they did lose their $20.00. Freeloaders looking for more hand outs.

you know I'm tired of

you know I'm tired of reading these blogs from all the unhappy white people that love to read the papers and get a little drop of happiness out of seeing what bad happened to the blacks. The lost colony was looking for something free too. Wilmington is full of middle class rednecks " tea party" " KKK " get a life. Crime is crime a it shouldn't be funny because someone is black.If they would have been targeting whites with some net work marketing scam, I bet you would been got for a lot more. If you want to know way your so unhappy, look in the mirror. And that advice is free!!!! Take off the blind fold, if you go to court, you see more young white in there for stealing and drugs. Just because your using meth and pain pills don't fool yourself.

The people of the lost

The people of the lost colony were looking for a better way of life and if you think they were looking for a free ride then you have no clue as to conditions back then. People who colonized America had to work for what they got. They were no different than the others that came to live in America in that time period.

If there are more white people in court it is because there are more white people who live in the area. If you look at percentages you will find that there is a larger per cent of the black population in the court than white.

I'm never pleased to see

I'm never pleased to see anyone scammed, but I am relieved that it's going to be harder for them to claim that they were victims of the white man this time. They will probably find a way, though.


Wow your a racist!!! I especially like the tea party part. Yup looks like your one of the freeloaders NOBODY who works for a living likes.

sorry "bud" never been on

sorry "bud" never been on any social services. And served my country so those "freeloaders" have the right to live here too.Im just tired of you cowards who say "freeloader" and other words, rather than being man enough to say what you really mean. And I quess you must be one of republican wannabes that think you finally made it " tea party" And while youre talking about people who works for aliving, I hope your job is a sure thing for life or you may become one those people nobody who works for a living likes. But we really know thats not whats it is all about. So make your 40 hrs a week while you can and if it dont workout, theres always meth and pain pills to make you feel better. You can call me what ever you like, because Im a proud BLACK MAN that dont need your approval. I want this scam exposed, but I know that everybody out there wasnt a freeloader and some of the other names you racist undercovers call them. Get the real facts, by numbers the real freeloader in this country werent standing line on 17th street! If it would have been the white farmer funds, you and half your hard working buddies would have left work. $20 for this $200 for network marketing scams, here in wilmington, who's the real fools.

Hello, scout! There really

Hello, scout! There really aren't too many a$$wh0les on this board, but the few of them really do get around. Remember this, talk radio and Faux News have to get their audiences from somewhere.

I agree it is pitiful to see

I agree it is pitiful to see red neck white trash pleased to see black folks scammed. It is so predictable and trite.

I hope more happens

It will be funny if the people that showed up looking for "free" money and filled out the paperwork now all have their identities stolen. Serves them right for trying to be sponges.

Most probably have multiple

Most probably have multiple identities for public assistance and legal reasons. Doubt if stealing their IDs would net anybody much.


Having multiple identifications is a white crime.
When was the last time that you watched, "I Almost Got Away With It?"

White folks are the masters of multiple fake identifications.

Whew! Wilmington really does have people who thinks that White is the Superior Race. This is tooooooooo sad!


Your exactly right

If its too good

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is . . . Just goes to show what a little greed will do to people. Too bad WWAY didn't get a photo of the scammers so police could identify them

Greed is Greed, be it inside

Greed is Greed, be it inside the church, on the church lawn The scammers AND the people who thought by paying $20 they were buying a government Lottery ticket--- Greed is still Greed don't matter what color your skin is if your heart is tainted by Greed!


Every person who applies for this money and are obviously not eligible should be prosecuted for fraud!