Louisiana AG Warns Against Scam Tobacco Settlement Ads
According to US News and World Report, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has been inundated with questions from residents about how to receive their cash from an agreement between Louisiana and the tobacco companies. These folks have been led to believe that, since Louisiana is one of these states, they could receive thousands of dollars a month in payments. Mr. Landry's office has put out a warning to Louisiana residents about websites that use this very real settlement as bait.
Websites like Money Map Updates claim that you could be getting a $2300 check in the mail, made out to you, every month for life. They ask visitors to their website (mostly brought there from pop-up and very click-baity ads) to sign up for a subscription with their information and a credit card (small fee). That's when you get in on the secret of the tobacco settlement dollars coming to the state every month. They claim that they have a secret way to funnel your portion of the monthly payment to you, but that's not how it works.
The settlement in question was the result of a federal lawsuit against the big 4 tobacco companies in 1999. It splits up millions of dollars every year ($118 million for 2016-2017) and sends it to 46 states named in the lawsuit to use at their discretion. The thing is, Louisiana's money is used for health and education programs - not sent to it's residents.
How and when that money is spent is decided by the Tobacco Settlement Financing Corporation Board, which is made up of individuals from across the state. Reaching out to these individuals so that your concerns about schools and health programs they fund or don't fund is totally possible, but I don't think they will consider send you a couple of grand, tax free every month.