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How to report price gouging during Harvey

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HOUSTON – If you think you're a victim of price gouging, there are several ways you can report incidents. 

We've already received several complaints from KPRC2 viewers who reported suspect price changes on bottled water and gas.

It is illegal for retailers, during a state of emergency declaration, to inflate the prices of essential items such as food, water and gas.

Here's the law:

§17.46(b) of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act provides that it is a false, misleading or deceptive act or practice to take advantage of a disaster declared by the Governor under Chapter 418, Government Code, by:

  • Selling or leasing fuel, food, medicine or another necessity at an exorbitant or excessive price; or
  • Demanding an exorbitant or excessive price in connection with the sale or lease of fuel, food, medicine or another necessity.
  • If you suspect price gouging, let us know at investigates@click2houston.com or call our tipline at 713-222-TIPS.

    You can also file a complaint with the Texas attorney general's office here.

    Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Friday that employees from the Consumer Protection Division and the Constituent Affairs Division will operate the Consumer Protection Hotline throughout this weekend.

    "During declared disasters, state law prohibits businesses from charging exorbitant prices for necessities such as gas, food, drinking water, clothing and lodging," Paxton said. "Texans affected by Hurricane Harvey should take steps to protect themselves and report any alleged price gouging or scam contractors to the Office of the Attorney General."

    Anyone who has encountered price gouging during or after Hurricane Harvey is asked to call the Office of the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Hotline toll-free at 1-800-621-0508 or email consumeremergency@oag.texas.gov or file a complaint online at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.

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