In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, stories have hit the media about heroic Texans who have pitched in to try and help their fellow man through the long recovery from the storm. Amid happier stories, a dark reality has also become apparent; some Houston residents are trying to take advantage of victims of the storm.
The Consumer Protection Division of the Texas attorney general’s office has been inundated with complaints about businesses in and around Houston that have engaged in price gouging. Gallons of gasoline and bottles and cases of water are the most sought after and easily exploited items during times of disaster. According to Business Insider, one Texas convenience store was caught selling cases of water for $99.
Taking advantage of disaster victims isn’t just related to items like gasoline and water. Multiple reports claim that some Texas landlords are tacking on big late fees if tenants are late on their rent due to Hurricane Harvey.
As Hurricane Irma barrels towards south Florida, the Sunshine State is trying to get ahead of price gouging tactics. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has activated the state’s crisis hotline for reports of price gouging.