Every disaster attracts scammers. Protect yourself. Do your research before clicking on links purporting to provide information on the virus; donating to a charity online or through social media; contributing to a crowdfunding campaign; misinformation about your stimulus check; purchasing products online; or giving up your personal information in order to receive money or other benefits.
Consumer Fraud and Scams
- Texans should also be aware of cyber scams. Texans who believe they have encountered disaster scams should call the Office of the Attorney General’s toll-free complaint line at 800-621-0508 or file a complaint online. For additional information on disaster scams, please visit the Attorney General'sdisaster scams website.
- For information on what the Federal Trade Commission is doing regarding coronavirus scams, see Coronavirus Scams: What the FTC Is Doing.
The Better Business Bureau offers resources about scams.
The Supreme Court of Texas is aware of scam callers falsely claiming the Supreme Court of Texas has issued an arrest warrant and attempting to obtain personal and financial information from the call recipient. The Supreme Court of Texas does not issue arrest warrants. Do not give any personal information, such as social security or banking numbers, over the phone with anyone claiming to be from the Crime Victim Services Division. You may report these calls to the Office of the Attorney General Consumer Protection Division by calling toll-free 800-621-0508.
The U.S. Department of Justice has information on combatting fraud here.
Currently, the disaster declaration prompted by several discovered cases of coronavirus in Texas is effective across the entire state. Price gouging is illegal, and a disaster declaration triggers tough penalties under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA). Price-gougers may be required to reimburse consumers and may be held liable for civil penalties of up to $10,000 per violation with an additional penalty of up to $250,000 if the affected consumers are elderly.
Loan Modification Scams
Be aware that there are scams posing as aid programs, government programs, these anti-scam resources here. This information can help you see scams coming as well as tell you what to do if you are the victim of a scam.law suits, and more. Some people might try to take advantage of you in your time of need. Falling for a scam can put you in debt and even cause you to lose your home. HUD and its partners have put together
Address legal problems resulting from a disaster: for attorneys.
The Houston Bar Association's Consumer Law Handbook gives consumers a general guide to their rights.