Kentucky AG Daniel Cameron puts tornado price-gougers, scammers on notice by activating hotline

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Kentucky’s attorney general sent a message Saturday that scam artists and unscrupulous business owners won’t be tolerated as the commonwealth’s residents deal with widespread and devastating tornado damage.

Attorney General Daniel Cameron said he was activating a hotline where residents could report price-gougers. The hotline number is 888-432-9257. Reports can also be made online at ag.ky.gov/pricegouging.

A second line was set up at 502-696-5300, FOX 19 of Cincinnati reported.

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"Kentuckians in more than a dozen counties experienced damage and loss as a result of the widespread severe weather that swept through Western and Central Kentucky on Friday night and Saturday morning," Cameron said in a statement.  "We’re activating the price gouging hotline to assist local communities with responding and to ensure that no Kentuckian experiences predatory pricing as they’re purchasing emergency supplies."

State law prohibits excessive price hikes on specific items during emergency situations, FOX 19 reported. The items include food, cleanup supplies, emergency-response supplies, medical supplies, home heating oil, construction supplies, housing, transportation, freight and storage services and fuels for vehicles, the report said.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron speaks during the Republican National Convention in Washington, Aug. 25, 2020. (Associated Press)

Residents are urged to collect as much information as possible about alleged price-gougers, including name, address, contact information and details on the prices being requested for specific items. If the resident suspects having paid an excessive price, they should keep the receipt from the purchase if they hope to collect a refund, FOX 19 reported.

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Kentucky was believed to be the hardest hit of several states that were struck by tornado damage between Friday and Saturday. The state’s governor and other officials were expecting the total death toll from Mayfield and other communities to exceed 70 people and likely reach closer to 100.

Cameron, 36, a Republican, in late November won a preliminary court order to block President Biden’s coronavirus vaccination mandate for federal government contractors and subcontractors.

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