Attorney General Paxton Warns of Disaster Scams Following Texas Floods
Published 11:29 am Wednesday, April 20, 2016
AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton today reminded Texans to protect themselves against scams and be ready to report possible price gouging in the aftermath of recent flooding across the state, and particularly in Southeast Texas.
“Throughout the storms and floods of this week, we’ve witnessed the courage of our first responders and the generosity of neighbors coming together to help their fellow Texans, and our prayers remain with those whose lives have been altered or lost in these severe storms,” Attorney General Paxton said. “Unfortunately, people who have already been through so much also need to be wary of bad actors taking advantage of their circumstances. To that end, I’d like to caution everyone in any area affected by storms and flood to be extremely careful with people offering to help you rebuild or reconstruct.”
Scams involving contractors failing to perform work they were paid to do are not uncommon following such disasters. Flood victims are reminded to be wary of contractors from out of the area, don’t rush into signing a contract, ask for references and check with the Better Business Bureau to ensure they’re working with a trustworthy business. In addition, under state law, once the governor issues a disaster declaration, vendors are prohibited from charging exorbitant prices for necessities during and after the crisis.
Gov. Greg Abbott has declared a state of disaster in the following Texas counties: Austin, Bastrop, Colorado, Fort Bend, Grimes, Harris, Montgomery, Waller and Wharton.
Texans in affected counties who believe they have been scammed or encountered price gouging should call the Office of the Attorney General’s toll-free complaint line at (800) 621-0508 or file a complaint online at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.