Texas Attorney General's Office reports thousands of price gougi - FOX34 Lubbock

Texas Attorney General's Office reports thousands of price gouging complaints, COVID-19 scams

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

Since Gov. Abbott's disaster declaration on March 13, the Texas Attorney General's Office reports it has received more than 9,000 complaints regarding price gouging and scams. 

In an update from the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce Friday, Jennifer Jackson, with the office's consumer protection division, said the laws on price gouging apply to anyone who tries to take advantage of a disaster.

"We've gotten a lot of complaints about people who've hit up their local Costco or Sam's Club and bought up all the toilet paper...then they post it to Facebook marketplace, or their Facebook page or their Instagram account saying, 'Hey, I've got 4,000 rolls of toilet paper, come get one for $50 apiece,'" Jackson said.

Some of the COVID-19 related scams the office has seen include cyber scams, telephone and text messages, small business scams and counterfeit product offers.

Right now, there is only one FDA approved home test kit for COVID-19, and there are no FDA approved treatments or cures for the virus.

"Before you make any purchase, especially from a company you've never encountered before, stop, do some research and try to make sure it's a valid company," Jackson said.

So far, Jackson said the Attorney General's Office has reached out to to more than 200 businesses and individuals to investigate claims of price gouging and has issued multiple Civil Investigative Demands and warning letters.

She said the office has filed lawsuits against Auctions Unlimited and Cal-Maine Foods related to price gouging allegations.

"If it sounds too good to be true, stop and think before you purchase," Jackson said. "Now is a good time to do business with companies you know and love, and avoid sort of unknown companies that reach out to you spontaneously."

If you suspect fraud or price gouging related to COVID-19, you can file a complaint on the Texas Attorney General's website.

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