News Briefs

Published 10:00 pm Monday, November 14, 2016

► Cooper recovers money from pyramid scheme

North Carolinians who lost money to pyramid scheme Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing will get a total of more than $445,000 in refund checks, Attorney General Roy Cooper said Wednesday. Checks are being mailed by the Federal Trade Commission to 33,621 North Carolina consumers who bought into the scheme but lost money. Nationwide, 285,361 checks totaling more than $3.7 million are going to victims of the scheme. The refunds are the result of a court approved settlement won by Cooper, the FTC, Kentucky and Illinois in 2014 to shut down Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing (FHTM). (Submitted by Noelle Talley)

► Price gouging law in effect due to western North Carolina wildfires

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With wildfires burning in several western counties, Attorney General Roy Cooper today encouraged consumers to report price gouging in the area and learn about their rights if the fires interrupt their mountain vacation plans. Under the declared state of emergency, the price gouging law is in effect in 25 counties across WNC, including Alexander, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Gaston, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga and Yancey.

Families renting vacation homes in the North Carolina mountains can avoid potential problems by reading rental agreements carefully and learning their protections under state’s Vacation Rental Act. To file a complaint about a North Carolina hotel, vacation rental, or potential price gouging incident, contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division toll-free within North Carolina at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or visit (Submitted by Noelle Talley)