Natural disasters have a tendency to bring out the best and worst of humanity and Hurricane Harvey is certainly no different.
While countless people have donated to disaster relief, a number of stores in Texas have been gouging customers who are desperate for supplies.
In an interview with CNBC, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said the state has already received more than 500 complaints about price gouging. A number of these involved gas stations drastically increasing their prices while people were attempting to flee the area.
Paxton says some stations were charging between $4 and $10 a gallon. This is significantly higher than the statewide average which is $2.19 according to AAA.
Some stations were even greedier as the Attorney General’s office told Jalopnik they were able to confirm a Houston convenience store was selling gas for $20 per gallon – nearly ten times the statewide average.
Gasoline isn’t the only item subject to price gouging as the Attorney General’s office has received complaints of stores charging $99 for a case of water. Some hotels have also been reported for charging three to four times their usual rates.
Store owners might be trying to make a quick buck by they face serious consequences if caught. In Texas, price gougers face a fine of between $20,000 and $250,000 for every incidence of price gouging during natural disasters.