Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill says his office has received dozens of price-gouging complaints amid the coronavirus pandemic. That, as the AG also warns Hoosiers about possible scammers pretending to be Internal Revenue Service agents seeking personal information.
Hill says consumers have been submitting price-gouging complaints to his office since Governor Eric Holcomb declared a public health emergency last month.
The complaints have included high prices at superstores, home improvement stores, grocery stores, and e-commerce websites for many basic supplies, such as toilet paper, food and cleaning supplies.
“Hoosier consumers should never have to pay exorbitant prices for essential products, especially amid the coronavirus pandemic, which is causing thousands to suffer financial hardships,” said Hill.
Hill says if his office determines a seller committed an unfair or unconscionable business practice, the office then considers issuing a cease and desist letter.
Indiana law refers to fuel prices when describing price gouging, but Hill says during a state of emergency his powers are broadened.
The AG’s office is also warning Hoosiers to be aware of IRS imposters. Hill says as residents wait for federal relief checks, they could hear from scammers seeking financial information.
“The IRS will never call you demanding payments or personal financial information such as your Social Security number, credit card number or bank account number,” Hill said.
The attorney general says con artists make themselves seem believable by reciting personal information they already have obtained such as an individual’s name and address. Senior citizens are particularly susceptible to the calls.
If you receive a call like that, Hill says you should take note of the phone number, hang up and report the incident to the AG office.