WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - Whenever disasters are declared people looking to make an extra buck see an opportunity.
Here’s what you need to do if you come across price gouging.
“If you see something that seems unusual that you know last week when you bought that it was two dollars and now it was three then we all might look into why that changed,” Woody Gossom, Wichita County Judge said.
Price gouging means selling or demanding an excessive price for things like gas, food, and medical supplies.
The Texas Attorney General’s Office website define it as follows:
§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, or the President by:
- Selling or leasing fuel, food, medicine, lodging, building materials, construction tools, 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, lodging, building materials, construction tools, or another necessity.
You can get in contact with the Attorney General’s Office here:
Here is what you should do if you see it in the stores.
“Take your phone out, take a picture of it and we need the date the time and the store,” Gossom said.
Those complaints are then filed to the Attorney General’s Office. Gossom adds he’d like the handle these cases on a local level but if needed, they will go up the chain of command.
Another way to report it is through the Better Business Bureau, who’s president in Wichita Falls says they’ve seen an increase in price gouging complaints.
“Whenever we have sought after items in times of a disaster you some people take advantage of that demand,” Monica Horton said. “BBB does have an outlet where consumers can report some of these advertisements or some of the things they're seeing to us.”
Here are some of their pages related to the Coronavirus and price gouging:
The BBB reports their complains to the Attorney General’s Office.
A good step to take is to first ask at the store if the price is correct.
“It could be a mistake, you know don’t turn it into something clandestine. We are all friendly people here simply go up and ask,” Gossom said.