Today, Governor Abbott issued a “state of disaster” declaration in response to the real and growing threat of the coronavirus.
This declaration makes it a crime to price gouge during such period as the state of disaster remains in effect.
As Texans take precautions against exposure to Coronavirus (COVID-19) and prepare for the possibility of self-quarantine if affected, it is the role of the Attorney General’s office to assure that scammers and unscrupulous vendors do not take advantage of the public’s concern in order to unlawfully enrich themselves.
Any person or business selling goods must be aware that they are prohibited by law from engaging in price gouging if they unreasonably raise the cost of necessary supplies at any point during a declared disaster.
My office will work aggressively to prevent disaster scams and stands ready to prosecute any price gouger who takes advantage of those taking precautions and looking for safety and supplies.
If you believe you are a victim of price gouging, please call our office’s toll-free complaint line at (800) 621-0508 or file a complaint online at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/consumer-protection
For information on the spread or treatment of Coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit the Texas Department of State Health Services at dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/.
We Texans are supremely capable of weathering this storm and coming back stronger than ever, but we must work together and have faith that this shall pass. In the meantime, our strength lies in our communities, our families, and our public services to meet our needs in this uncertain time.
My office will remain vigilant to threats and my prayers will remain with every one of you.