January 29, 2009
Jefferson City, Mo. — Bursting pipes, downed trees, wrecked cars and high prices may be among the results of this weekend's ice storm, and Attorney General Chris Koster is reminding consumers in southeast Missouri to look out for law breakers and con artists.
"After damaging storms, con artists smell an opportunity to take advantage of Missourians in need," Koster said. "Consumers need to be on the lookout for products that have suddenly seen large increases in price – that could be price gouging, which is illegal in our state."
Consumers may need supplies like gasoline, generators, firewood, bottled water and other necessities because of the power outages. Once the ice melts and power is restored, home repair contractors and tree limb and debris removal companies will be busy. Koster says consumers should follow these suggestions to avoid getting ripped off:
Southeast Missourians who suspect price gouging or other fraud can file a complaint with the Attorney General's Office at ago.mo.gov, or by calling the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-392-8222.