The state’s attorney general is advising Texans to protect themselves against scams following the recent flooding in the state.
Ken Paxton reminded Texans Wednesday to protect themselves and to be prepared to report possible price gouging in the aftermath of recent flooding across the state, 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,” 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.”
According to a press release from Paxton’s office, scams involving contractors failing to perform work they were paid to do aren’t uncommon following such disasters. Flood victims are being reminded to be wary of contractors from out of the area; to not rush into signing a contract; to ask for references; and to check with the Better Business Bureau to ensure they are working with a trustworthy business. Additionally, according to 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 declared a state of disaster Monday in the following Texas counties: Austin, Bastrop, Colorado, Fort Bend, Grimes, Harris, Montgomery, Waller and Wharton.
Paxton’s office said that 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 texasattorneygeneral.gov.