AUSTIN –Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton warned Texans of
the risk of fraud and common scams in the wake of Hurricane Laura, which is
expected to impact communities across the state.
“Unfortunately, scams involving price gouging, repairs and
charities are not uncommon following a disaster such as Hurricane Laura,”
Attorney General Paxton said. “I strongly encourage hurricane victims in Texas
to take the extra time to evaluate sellers and contractors to avoid scams. My
office will continue working to protect Texans from deceptive acts and will
carefully monitor the situation as Texans rebuild and recover.”
Consider the following tips when in need of businesses or
contractors to help in the clean-up and rebuilding process:
business with licensed or bonded contractors or builders. Consult the?Better
Business Bureau?to ensure you are working with a trustworthy business.
an insurance adjuster to get an estimate of the damage and repair cost.
of contractors who solicit services door-to-door, especially those that are
unfamiliar or from out of town.
under Texas law, the door-to-door seller must advise you orally and in writing
that?you have a right to cancel the sale within three days.
the terms of any warranty work in writing.
references or rely on recommendations from friends or relatives who have had
experience with honest contractors.
rush into signing a contract and never pay by wire transfer, gift card, or
cash. Don’t make the final payment until the work is done and you are
your personal information; some scammers claim to be a public official and
demand credit card, bank account, or social security numbers.
FEMA doesn’t charge fees. If someone wants money to help you qualify for FEMA
funds, it is probably a scam.
Texas’sprice gouging law prohibits vendors from illegally raising prices to
reap exorbitant profits during a disaster, it does allow retailers to pass
along wholesale price increases to customers. Thus, in some cases, increased
prices may not necessarily signal illegal price gouging.
Texans in affected counties who believe they have
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