Watch Out for Price Gouging and ICE/HSI Imposters

By | September 5, 2017

Report Price Gouging

“If Texans in affected counties believe they have been scammed or encountered price gouging during or after Hurricane Harvey, they should call the Office of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline toll-free at (800) 621-0508 or email consumeremergency@oag.texas.gov.

“During declared disasters, state law prohibits businesses from charging exorbitant prices for necessities such as gas, food, drinking water, clothing and lodging,” Attorney General Paxton said. “Texans affected by Hurricane Harvey should take steps to protect themselves and report any alleged price gouging or scam contractors to the Office of the Attorney General.”

Statement from ICE/HSI-ERO Regarding Imposters

There are disturbing reports that people impersonating Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents are knocking on doors in the Houston area telling residents to evacuate – presumably so these imposters can rob the empty homes.

Real HSI officials wear badges that are labeled “special agent,” which members of the public can ask to see and verify. ICE officers with Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) also wear badges labeled with ERO Officer. They also carry credentials with their name and organization.

Members of the public who receive such visitors should ask to see these properly labeled badges, and their credentials. In addition, these officers and special agents would be conducting hurricane relief operations with other local law enforcement agencies.

Also note that during Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is not conducting immigration enforcement operations in the affected area.

To report suspicious activity or individuals you believe are impersonating ICE officials, members of the public should immediately contact ICE toll free at 866-347-2423.

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District provided services such as safety patrols by off-duty HPD officers, graffiti abatement, trash pick-up, maintenance of esplanades, among other services outlined in the Districts’ Assessment Plan, that are supplemental to services provided by the City of Houston, had been reduced in Mid-November and ceased completely as of December 11. The District had to cease the services due to unpaid assessments from some of the commercial property owners within the District. Delinquent assessments for 2016 and prior years are being collected for services that were delivered in 2017. The current lawsuit status does not affect the collection of delinquent assessments due for 2016 and prior years for services rendered for calendar year 2017. Please direct questions regarding the cessation of services to Executive Director, Ben Brewer at BBrewer@MontroseDistrict.org. We are committed to helping our neighborhood remain the safe, vibrant and attractive place to live and do business and would like to hear from you on how we can continue to work together in this effort.