Price Gouging Laws Being Enforced by Attorney General

The Texas Attorney General is keeping an eye out for price gouging during the evacuation from the storm, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

"It is illegal price gouging when items that are necessities are sold at an exhorbitant or excessive price," Paul Singer of the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division told News Radio 1200 WOAI.

Singer says while attorney general's investigators are keeping an eye out for price gouging, they rely on reports from consumers to begin investigations.

In 2008, the Attorney General at the time, now Gov. Greg Abbott, prosecuted several motel owners for charging triple the going rate to evacuees from Hurricane Ike.  In fact, the state's gouging laws were strengthened after reports of price gouging following Hurricane Rita in 2005.

"A lot of times we see it with the major hurricanes, the ones that have a major impact, and you see a lot of people affected in a large geographic region," Singer said.

He said the price gouging laws are in effect in areas which have been declared Disaster Areas by the governor.  That includes 30 counties along the coast and inland, but, at least for now, it does not include Bexar County.

IMAGE: GETTY

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