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Nessel Sends Investigators To Gaylord To Check Out Reports Of Price Gouging After Tornado

(CBS DETROIT) -- Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced she is sending investigators to Gaylord on Monday to investigate reported instances of price gouging after the tornado last week.

On Friday, May 20, an EF-3 tornado hit the city, killing two people and injuring more than 40 others.

Officials said on Sunday morning that nearly all power lost had been restored as cleanup continued in the town of about 4,200 people.

"Residents who are already struggling in the wake of a natural disaster must be protected from bad actors that are intent on exploiting hardship for their own gain," Nessel said in a statement. "My department's investigators are on the ground in Gaylord to ensure the price of goods and services are fair and not artificially inflated to take advantage of the circumstances."

Michigan does not have a law that specifically prohibits price gouging in direct response to a disaster; however, state law does prohibit any retailer from charging a price that is "grossly in excess of the price at which similar property or services are sold."

Officials say basic goods and services are top priorities after a disaster: the demand for them increases and scammers take advantage.

Nessel says she is not tolerating "any unscrupulous behavior when it comes to gouging" and is also reminding residents of disaster scams following the tornado in Gaylord.

Anyone who believes a retailer is charging a price "grossly in excess" of what others are charging for similar goods or services is asked to contact the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division at 877-765-8388 or file an online complaint.

To file a complaint with the Attorney General, or get additional information, contact:

Consumer Protection Division

P.O. Box 30213  Lansing, MI 48909

Toll free: 877-765-8388

Online complaint form

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