Feel like you've been scammed? Tips to avoid price gouging

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Since Harvey approached Texas, the attorney general's office has received more than 3,000 complaints.

Some of those include gouging claims of gas for $20 a gallon and a case of water for $99. With people now looking to rebuild, the concern is claims of fraud and scams could rise.

Susan Schwaitzberg is on alert for those. Her Meyerland home was flooded.

"We're okay," Schwaitzberg said. "Just taking it one day at a time. That's all we can do. Survival mode."

A mode being tested by the unknown. While they know they want to rebuild, they aren't sure who they can trust.

"There are so many businesses and contractors that have popped up overnight saying that they can repair my house," Schwaitzberg said.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) said right now consumers need to be cautious.

"Scammers will take advantage of people, and it's very sad and it's very unfortunate," BBB director Leah Napoliello said. "We do anticipate these types of scams will be coming into us soon."

To protect yourself, the BBB said be careful of crews that approach you, ask for money upfront, and call with demands.

"There will be several (scammers)," Napoliello said. "I'm not sure what the exact number is going to be, but whenever this type of storm does occur, the scammers come out there."

As for the other issues, including gouging, Eyewitness News submitted a request to learn which business had complaints filed against them. If found at fault, an owner can face fines upwards of $250,000.

An alarming scenario for some who are just looking to come back.

"I think that unfortunately there's just not a lot of so good people in the world," Schwaitzberg said.

To report a gouging, scam, or fraud complaint to the AG's office, click here.

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