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price gouging

Price gouging occurs when retailers or other sellers take advantage of the increased demand and insufficient supply of goods and services—often commodities and basic necessities—following a natural disaster, war, civil unrest, or other event, and increase prices beyond a fair or reasonable amount.

In Texas, price gouging is illegal during a declared disaster. The Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act (DTPA) prohibits businesses from taking advantage of a disaster declared by the Governor or the President by selling or leasing fuel, food, medicine, or another necessity at an exorbitant or excessive price. The Attorney General of Texas is empowered to take action against individuals or businesses that engage in price gouging. This includes issuing fines and seeking refunds for consumers who were overcharged. The law is designed to protect consumers from unfair exploitation during times of crisis when they may be most vulnerable. Texans who believe they have been victims of price gouging are encouraged to file a complaint with the Texas Attorney General's office.

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