Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton today cautions Texans to be aware of disaster scams in the wake of a disaster declaration in four North Texas counties. Severe weather and tornadoes caused devastation on some Texas communities on December 26, 2015, prompting Gov. Greg Abbott to issue a disaster declaration for the counties of Dallas, Collin Rockwall and Ellis.
“As our communities work to rebuild and recover from the storms, my office will work diligently to protect Texans from scams perpetrated by those who look to take advantage of our citizens in these unfortunate circumstances,” said Attorney General Paxton. “The loss of lives as a result of these deadly storms is a tragedy for our state, and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.”
Under state law, once the governor issues a declaration, vendors are prohibited from charging exorbitant prices for necessities such as drinking water, food, batteries, generators, towing, clothing, medicine, lodging, repair work and fuel during and after the crisis.
Currently, the disaster declaration is only effective in the four named counties. Under Texas consumer protection statutes, it is illegal for a person to take advantage of a disaster declaration by engaging in deceptive trade practices.
Texans in affected counties who believe they have encountered disaster scams 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. For additional information on disaster scams, please visit our website at https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/cpd/disaster-scams.