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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.

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

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Watching Wilmington
2016 years 2 months ago

Typical comments that spews from hatred and ignorance.

Once again, you changed my words to take the focus off the truth.
Wilmington whites are a classic example of pure hatred and evil. Reading these posts bring tears to my eyes knowing that some of you are deacons, or elders of a church. Hatred is like a disease. The only way that you can be cured from this evil sickness is to face the fact that you are consumed with this disease.

Once again, my main point is: there is no superior race of people.
There are people in all… Read more »

2016 years 2 months ago

Her picture is right here. She is the one who needs to be arrested. She got defensive when the reporter was trying to interview her because she is part of the scam. The police should identify her and arrest her immediately. That will be a start to bring down the whole group of scam artist. START THERE. End this entitlement fraud.

2016 years 2 months ago

Where did you get your PHD??? Blacks make up 12% of what population on what planet???? Surley not this one!You need to get back to the census and look again, or they just aren’t counting the ones in prison! And all the baby Daddy, 12% isn’t even the mixed children from this century!

Off The Cuff
2016 years 2 months ago

Listen, I am willing to bet my paycheck that 1/3 to 1/2 of the people that showed up to pay their $20 to get in on this are not even “farmers”. They are there to find an easy way to get more handouts. People, when will you learn. If it sounds too good to be true then most likely it is. Just another example of the steps scammers will take to earn their “free money” at the expense of those who might be entitled as well as at the expense of those who are there to see if they can… Read more »

2016 years 2 months ago

“…we could not even call their jobs to verify their income.”

Then you didn’t do your job right, and you should have been fired.

Seriously, I think your post is total bullsh*t because Social Services would NEVER give out food stamps without verifying income. That’s the biggest part of the process. That’s just how they do it. They ALWAYS verify income or the applicant is not accepted. Period.

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