FRANKFORT, KY. (WTVQ) – 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.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to officials, the emergency order triggers Kentucky’s consumer protection measures the next 30 days, and 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, according to Beshear.
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.