Beshear: Kentuckians protected against price gouging

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Storm Damage In Livingston County

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear is asking Kentuckians to report instances of price gouging to his office now that a state of emergency has been declared in Kentucky due to recent storms.

“Kentuckians should never be subjected to price gouging by retailers and this is especially true during a natural disaster,” Beshear said. “My office and all of its resources stand ready to investigate and even prosecute cases of identifiable predatory pricing now that the governor has implemented the price gouging laws to help protect Kentucky consumers. During this time of crisis, we are asking Kentuckians to be cautious when purchasing goods and services.”

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Beshear is encouraging anyone with specific information regarding possible price gouging to contact the Office of the Attorney General at 888-432-9257 or e-mail consumerprotection@ky.gov.

The emergency order triggers Kentucky’s consumer protection measures the next 30 days. The protective measures may be extended beyond 30 days if needed.

“The governor’s order empowers the Attorney General’s office to be on the lookout on behalf of consumers, and enables our office to prosecute, where appropriate, any instances of price gouging including, generators, building supplies, chainsaws, hotel rooms and other necessary goods and services at an exorbitant price in a time of disaster.”

Beshear issued a scam alert last summer after heavy storms caused flood damage to many areas of the state. Beshear’s scam alert is to remind Kentuckians that con artists routinely prey on victims’ post-disaster stress by posing as someone who claims they can help.

Common schemes include phony contractors seeking quick payment for repair services they promise and never provide, or a bogus loan company employee who offers to provide financing for expensive repairs.
Beshear asks those impacted by the recent storms to be on the lookout for con artists who:

-Demand full payment up front or in cash.
-Do not have a physical business address.
-Refuse to show proper identification.
-Ask consumers to disclose personal financial information to “speed up payment” or to start the repair or lending process.
-Ask consumers to borrow money to pay for the repairs, or steers consumers toward a particular lender or tries to act as an intermediary between the consumer and a lender.
-Ask consumers to sign documents without reviewing them.

Kentuckians are encouraged to research reviews of businesses online and confirm any potential issues with the Better Business Bureau (Louisville/Western Kentucky: 800-388-2222, Lexington/Eastern Kentucky: 800-866-6668).

Consumers may also check the Secretary of State’s website to verify the business is registered and is in good standing.

To help Kentuckians stay up-to-date on new and trending scams, Beshear launched Scam Alerts – a communications service that alerts Kentuckians when con artists are on the attack. To sign up for Scam Alerts, text the words KYOAG Scam to GOV311 (468311). Or, enroll online at ag.ky.gov/scams and select text message or email alert.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.