Michigan investigates reports of price gouging in Gaylord following tornado

Attorney general sends investigators to Gaylord

This image shows damage following an apparent tornado, Friday, May 20, 2022, in Gaylord, Mich. (Steven Bischer via AP) (Steven Bischer)

GAYLORD, Mich.Michigan officials are investigating reports of businesses unfairly raising prices of basic goods and services in the aftermath of last week’s tornado in Gaylord.

Attorney General Dana Nessel is sending investigators to Gaylord after receiving reported instances of price gouging.

“Residents who are already struggling in the wake of a natural disaster must be protected from bad actors that are intent on exploiting hardship for their own gain,” Nessel said. “My department’s investigators are on the ground in Gaylord to ensure the price of goods and services are fair and not artificially inflated to take advantage of the circumstances.”

Michigan doesn’t specifically have a law against price gouging after a disaster, but it does prohibit retailers from charging prices that are “grossly in excess of the price at which similar property or services are sold.”

Nessel said she won’t tolerate “any unscrupulous behavior” in this instance.

Basic goods and services are top priorities after these types of disasters, and demand for them spikes, according to authorities. This is often an opportunity for scammers to take advantage, officials said.

Anyone who believes a retailer is charging a price “grossly in excess” of what others are charging should call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 877-765-8388 or file an online complaint here.

Nessel said residents should also be wary of disaster scams after the tornado.

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Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.