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Hurricane Harvey

As Harvey Approaches Be On The Lookout For Price Gouging

Volunteers from around Texas stand ready to lift a hand when Hurricane Harvey impacts the Texas coastline, but there are others eying your wallet.

Consumer advocates with the Texas Attorney General's office are urging anyone in any 1 of the 30 counties Gov. Greg Abbott pre-cleared in a hurricane disaster proclamation to be on the lookout for price gouging.

Paul Singer is with the AG's consumer protection division says, "So the actual language of the statute says that it is illegal price gouging when there are "items of necessity", fuel, food, medicine, when those items are sold at an exorbitant or excessive price."

To put things in perspective, in 2005 following Hurricane Rita, the AG's office prosecuted over 600 businesses throughout southeast Texas for illegal price gouging.

Singer says while it isn't unusual to see price gouging occurring when a storm makes its way toward the Texas coast, the state's illegal price gouging laws only apply under certain conditions.

"The price gouging laws kick in whenever and wherever the governor has declared a disaster."

Currently Gov. Abbott has pre-cleared 30 counties stretching from Nueces County and the Corpus Christi area to Ft. Bend County and the Houston-area as hurricane disaster areas

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