Price gouging during a pandemic in Texas carries a hefty fine

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Businesses upping the price of hand sanitizer or water bottles during a pandemic isn’t just greedy — it’s also illegal.

State and local authorities around the Lone Star State have already begun cracking down on price gougers trying to take advantage of worried Texans.

According to the Texas Attorney General’s office, price-gougers may be required to pay back consumers and may face civil penalties of up to $10,000 per violation, with a penalty of up to $250,000 for deceiving the elderly. 

Texas price gouging law also prevents excessive sales prices on fuel, medicine, and lodging. 

Texans who suspect these types of disaster scams can file a consumer protection complaint online or call the Office of the Attorney General’s toll-free number at 1-800-621-0508.

The stiff price gouging penalties will be in place as long as the state’s disaster declaration is still in effect.

In Texas, the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases has reached 64, almost double what it was last week when the governor issued a disaster declaration.

“You’re going to see an exponential increase in the number of people testing positive on a daily basis, ” Abbott said Monday when only a few hundred Texans had been tested so far.

Photo: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

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