AUSTIN, Texas (KETK) – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has issued what his office calls a “stern warning” against price gouging in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement issued Saturday, Paxton writes:
“In this extraordinary time in our history, it is essential that the bodies of government function to serve the needs of the people of Texas and the United States.
“My role as your Attorney General, is, first and foremost, to ensure that the fear and uncertainty accompanying this unprecedented event does not incentivize those who would seek to prey on consumers in order to enrich themselves.
“My office has communicated this fact consistently to retails, wholesalers, and individuals that sell necessary goods and services.
“State law strictly prohibits price gouging and other forms of disaster scams in the wake of a disaster declared by either the Governor or the President. These laws apply to any person or entity selling necessities at an exorbitant or excessive price. This prohibition includes those who supply retailers.
“My office will work aggressively to investigate and prosecute any price-gouger who takes advantage of a disaster declaration by selling necessities at an excessive price, including retail suppliers in grocery and pharmacy chains.
“No one is exempt from price gouging laws in Texas, and those who violate the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act will be met with the full force of the law.
“Texans who believe they have encountered price gouging or disaster scams should call the Office of the Attorney General’s toll-free complaint line at 800-621-0508 or file a complaint online.
“For additional information on disaster scams, please visit our disaster scams website.
“For information on the spread or treatment of Coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit the Texas Department of State Health Services.
“As Texans, we must work together to protect ourselves and each other, ensure the integrity of our supply chain, and be vigilant against criminals who would seek to exploit us.
“Please continue to pray for our leaders and each other, and together, by God’s grace, we will overcome this stronger than ever.”Ken Paxton, Attorney General of Texas