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Here and Now

Mitt Romney’s $10,000 Bet, New Testimony in UK Phone Hacking Investigation, Avoiding Holiday Scams: Today on Here and Now

1:06pm: Mitt Romney is trying to downplay the $10,000 bet he offered to Rick Perry in Saturday night’s GOP presidential candidates debate to try to disprove Perry’s claim that he deleted parts of his book that supported a health care mandate. Romney laughed off suggestions that his pricey bet sent the wrong message. We’ll find out how it’s playing with voters.

1:12pm: There’s been more dramatic testimony in the UK phone hacking inquiry. More reporters for News of the World have come forward to talk about their methods of reporting, and to defend phone hacking. The question on many minds remains, what did James Murdoch know, when did he know it? We’ll talk about it and what the answer could mean for the Murdoch empire.

1:35pm: Politicians and economic development officials like to speak in terms of “magic bullets.” Build this attraction, lure this industry, and our state will prosper. Do those big projects ever pay off? We’ll begin a four part series today.

1:40pm: From QR codes infected with malware to gift cards whose balances mysteriously disappear—the scam artists are out in full force for the holidays. We’ll have some advice on how to avoid becoming a victim.

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Local News

Indiana AG Warns of H1N1 Scams

The Indiana Attorney General’s Office is warning against shampoos, air filters and face masks that claim to prevent contraction of the H1N1 flu virus.

Spokesperson Bryan Corbin says the FDA released a warning recently that a number of retailers are producing such products and that they are not FDA-approved and are ineffective.

He says some online pharmacies are selling fraudulent flu treatments.

“Some of these places have been selling what they call generic Tamiflu,” says Corbin. “Well, for one, there is not a generic version of Tamiflu available on the market, and then when these things have been chemically analyzed according to the FDA, it turns out to be Tylenol crushed up with talcum powder, it’s a totally fraudulent drug.”

Corbin says they’ve received no complaints from people in Indiana regarding such products, but wanted to alert Hoosiers of the scams.

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Local News

AG's Office Reports Spike in Debt Scams

The Kentucky Attorney General’s Office says it’s seen a spike in calls reporting scams in the state.  Most of the scams reported are targeting those who have fallen on hard times in the recession.

A-G spokesperson Allison Martin says the number of scam calls has doubled in the last few weeks.

“We were expecting calls like this to increase because when people are experiencing financial hardship they are more vulnerable, and when the economy is down, that’s when scam artists tend to ramp up,” she says.

Many recent phone scams have offered people ways to claim ‘free government grants’ from the federal stimulus package.  Martin says there are no such grants, and you should never give out personal financial information over the phone.  

The Attorney General’s office is conducting an investigation into the scams from information submitted by callers. 

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Local News

Scams On The Rise

The Kentucky Attorney General says fraudulent businesses and lotteries are on the rise in the Commonwealth.

Since October, the Attorney General’s office has been hearing more and more reports of scams, including phony lotteries, charities and foreclosure assistance.

Office spokesperson Allison Martin says the schemes are a sort of holiday tradition.

“Those types of calls will peak in December when people are really trying to get their hands on extra money for the holidays or trying to make that mortgage payment in addition to buying holiday gifts,” she says.

Martin says the economic downturn has made some of the scams more appealing to Kentuckians who are facing lean personal budgets.