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Texans Warned To Be Leery Of Price Gouging, Scams In Wake Of Tropical Storms

AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - With the approach of Tropical Storms Marco and Laura, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is warning residents to be leery of price gouging and scams that are seen during times of disaster.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Monday the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved his request for aid. He had also issued a state disaster declaration on Sunday.

Tropical Storm Marco is expected to make landfall Monday evening in Louisiana and then move into Texas Tuesday evening, while Laura has the potential to land in or near southeast Texas as a strong hurricane later in the week.

Paxton reiterated that price gouging is illegal during a declared disaster. He said the law prohibits vendors from charging "exorbitant" prices for supplies such as drinking water, food, batteries, generators, towing, clothing, medical supplies, lodging, repair work and fuel during and after the disaster.

"In preparation for the coming storms, I urge all Texans to be cautious of dishonest individuals looking to scam vulnerable citizens," Paxton said. "My office will aggressively prevent disaster scams and stands ready to prosecute any price-gouger who takes advantage of Texans."

The governor's disaster declaration covers the following counties: Aransas, Bexar, Brazoria, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Galveston, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Kenedy, Kleberg, Liberty, Matagorda, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Refugio, San Patricio, Victoria, and Willacy.

Anyone who witnesses price gouging or scams is urged to file a complaint here.

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