AUSTIN (KXAN) — According to the Office of the Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and the Consumer Protection Division, it has received 2,741 complaints related to the current disaster declaration for the COVID-19 pandemic, 2,542 of which are related to price gouging.
The CPD says the most common items complained about include toilet paper, bottled water, and hand sanitizer. They also said the areas with the most complaints are Houston and Dallas.
Paxton’s office says price-gougers may be required to reimburse consumers and could be responsible for penalties of up to $10,000 per violation. The charges could have an additional penalty of up to $250,000 if the victims are elderly.
“It is important to note that these complaints allege price gouging and this number does not necessarily reflect a legal determination by our office,” Paxton’s office said in a statement.
Consumers who encounter price gouging or deceptive trade practices are encouraged to file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office online. Complaints can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or called in to the consumer protection hotline at 800-621-0508.
Additionally, the CPD issued a consumer alert about cyber scams. More information about the consumer complaint process can be found at the Attorney General’s website here.