Avoiding Scams & Price Gouging Resources

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Texas Watch and the Texas Watch Foundation are committed to helping consumers navigate these difficult times. It is important that we all stay home and stay safe. To help you do so, we have compiled resources for avoiding scams and price gouging. For more resources, please see www.texaswatch.org/covid19. 

Scams to be aware of: 

Justice Department Seeks to End Illegal Online Sale of Industrial Bleach Marketed as “Miracle” Treatment for COVID-19 (DOJ)

Verify you are receiving an official US Treasury Check 

Fraudulent Healthcare Schemes (Office of Inspector General)

Fraud Schemes Related to COVID-19 (FBI)

Cybercrimesupport.org's COVID-19 Scam Alerts

Department of Justice's Combatting Coronavirus Fraud

Avoid scams: How the IRS contacts individuals 

Coronavirus stimulus check scams are out to swindle you out of $1,200: What you need to know.

FDA warns about at-home COVID-19 test kit scams

Common Scams (TX Attorney General) 

 

Mortgage practices:

8 signs of predatory mortgage lending

About Price Gouging:

Texas' law, the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act, says that selling any necessity at an exorbitant or excessive price, or demanding an exorbitant or excessive price, during a disaster is illegal. Unlike other states, price gouging is not defined by a percentage increase of price in Texas. Price gouging can occur online and in brick-and-mortar stores. 

If you see an instance of price gouging, you should report it to the Attorney General of Texas. If you suspect an online seller of price gouging, you can also report it to the online platform. 

See also: 

Price Gouging Law in Texas: How it Works and How it Backfires (JDSupra) 

How to Identify Price Gouging (US PIRG)

What you need to file a Consumer Complaint in Texas (Texas Attorney General)

Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act  

Texas gun seller Cheaper Than Dirt racks up 123 price gouging complaints

 

What’s being done to combat price gouging: 

Coronavirus price gouging: 33 top cops demand action from Amazon, eBay, Craigslist, Facebook and Walmart (USA Today) 

9 Texas legislators demand Amazon, other online marketplaces end coronavirus price gouging (US PIRG)

Sign the US PIRG’s Petition to Tell the FTC to stop price gouging in emergencies (US PIRG) 

 

To report price gouging: 

Report price gouging to the Federal Trade Commission 

How to spot and report price gouging (TX Attorney General)

Report price gouging in Harris County 

Report pricing gouging to Texas Attorney General

 

Price gouging with online sellers: 

Facebook Marketplace: 

How do I report something on Marketplace? | Facebook Help Center

Reporting price gouging on Ebay 

Price gouging on “Offer Up”: Email your complaint with sufficient details and a copy of the seller’s link to records@offerup.com

 

Last updated: April 29, 2020

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