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Attorney General warns of price gouging

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Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said Friday West Virginians should report any business or individual who dramatically increases the price of water, ice or other essential consumer goods.

In response to the water emergency in Boone, Cabell, Clay, Jackson, Lincoln, Logan, Kanawha, Putnam and Roane counties Morrisey said residents should make his office aware of any price gouging.

"It is illegal for any person or entity to inflate the price of water in times of emergency," Morrisey said. "We are hearing reports of price gouging going on already in the region. It is illegal and just plain wrong for a business to take advantage of consumers and West Virginians during an emergency."

Morrisey encouraged anyone who has been charged overly inflated prices to file a complaint with the office's Consumer Protection Division at 800-368-8808. All reports filed will be used by the office to identify offending businesses and people. Consumers who paid high prices should make a copy of the receipt, if they still have it, and attach the copy to their complaint.

"While our hope is that these incidences are rare, they do sometimes occur," Morrisey said. "In those situations, we will aggressively prosecute anyone who has taken advantage of West Virginians in their time of need. We will have no mercy for businesses who try to make a quick buck by taking advantage of people."