Search Site
Menu

Scams in Times of Disaster and Emergency

Scams in Times of Disaster and Emergency

While Texans are generally prepared for major weather-related disasters during hurricane season from June through October, occasionally a rogue weather event, such as an artic blast, sweeps across the state causing severe and unanticipated property damage to residential and commercial properties. As individuals and businesses begin the review, repair and reconstruction process, it is as important as ever to remain aware of post-emergency scammers who prey on disaster-stricken property owners and residents.

Price gouging. Price gouging during a state of emergency (such as the one that Texas is currently under) is illegal. The Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act defines price gouging as: (a) Selling or leasing fuel, food, medicine, lodging, building materials, construction tools, or another necessity at an exorbitant or excessive price; or (b) Demanding an exorbitant or excessive price in connection with the sale or lease of fuel, food, medicine, lodging, building materials, construction tools, or another necessity. Please note that high prices alone do not mean that price gouging has taken place, as businesses are generally allowed to determine the prices for their products.  However, if a disaster has been declared by the Governor of Texas or the President, and businesses raise the price of their products to exorbitant or excessive rates to take advantage of the disaster declaration, then it is quite likely that price gouging is taking place, and you should file a complaint with the Texas Attorney General’s office concerning the incident.

Fly-by-night contractors. Natural damage and extensive property damage attract a multitude of contractors offering clean up and repair services. Before signing a contract or paying any contractor, you can take a few steps to protect yourself. Research the individual or company online or ask for references. Get more than one estimate—you do not need to be rushed before signing any contract. Get everything in writing. Ask for proof of insurance. Lastly, if you are insured, ask your insurance adjuster for an estimate of the damage and probably repair cost.

Bogus charities. If you are considering donating money to a charity, make sure the donation is to a legitimate organization and an organization that you are already familiar with. Be wary of door-to-door visits and do not click on links contained in unsolicited emails.

Resources available. For information related to virtually every community resource available to consumers, Dial 211 (the United Way Helpline) This is the largest helpline in the country with access to multiple local and national resources and it is available in multiple languages. Alternatively, you can call a toll-free legal assistance hotline at 800-504-7030.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Contact a Dedicated Texas Business Lawyer To Schedule a Consultation
Call 281-367-1222 or contact us online to schedule a meeting.

Strong In Action

  • Spring 2021

    The Strong Firm prevails in dispositive motion regarding Texas economic loss rule resulting in dismissal of claims again party.

    Read More
  • Spring 2019

    The Strong Firm successfully forecloses first priority lien against multi-million dollar commercial asset.

    Read More
  • Spring 2021

    The Strong Firm secures writ of reentry after unlawful lockout of commercial tenant.

    Read More
  • Spring 2021

    The Strong Firm prevails in writ of mandamus proceeding involving denial of temporary restraining order to stop foreclosure sale.

    Read More
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  • Peer Rated 2022 Award
  • Clio Client-Centered Certification

Recent Blog Posts

The Future of Non-Compete Agreements: Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Agreement

In July 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order aiming to limit the use of restrictive covenants in employment relationships. Opening with the premise that “a fair, open, and competitive marketplace has long been a cornerstone of the American economy, while excessive market concentration threatens basic economic liberties, democratic accountability,
Read More
The Future of Non-Compete Agreements: Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Agreement

Estate Planning: A Sophisticated Plan for Complexities

More sophisticated estate planning may be appropriate for people that: have sufficient net worth to consider tax planning; own assets in more than one state or jurisdiction; highly prize privacy; have blended families, and/or have a history of family discord (“Complicating Factors”). In 2022, the net amount a person can have
Read More
Estate Planning: A Sophisticated Plan for Complexities

Estate Planning: A Plan for Everyone

A common misconception is that estate planning is for the wealthy, with an abundance of assets, including retirement plans, life insurance and annuities. However, the truth is that everyone over the age of 18, regardless of wealth, socioeconomic class or marital status should have a basic estate plan designed for
Read More
Estate Planning: A Plan for Everyone

The Strong Firm P.C. Presents The Ice Rink At The Woodlands Town Center – VIP Preview Party – Thursday, November 18, 2021 – 6 PM-9PM CST

  Please join The Strong Firm P.C. at the exclusive VIP Preview Party for The Ice Rink at The Woodlands Town Center presented by Woodforest National Bank for the 2021-2022 Holiday Season! This year all proceeds from ticket sales and any additional collected donations will go 100% to YES to YOUTH - Montgomery County Youth Services! Donation receipts will be
Read More
The Strong Firm P.C. Presents The Ice Rink At The Woodlands Town Center – VIP Preview Party – Thursday, November 18, 2021 – 6 PM-9PM CST
  • Video Vault


    Watch videos done by our legal team to gain a better understanding of your legal needs. Our lawyers give video insight into areas such as Real Estate, Business Law, Mergers & Acquisitions and much more.
Contact us

Quick Contact Form