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Miss. attorney general monitoring for price gouging in wake of gas shortage

A gasoline station that ran out of gas for sale displays an out of service sign on the pump on...
A gasoline station that ran out of gas for sale displays an out of service sign on the pump on Tuesday, May 11, 2021, in Atlanta. Gasoline futures are ticking higher following a cyberextortion attempt on the Colonial Pipeline, a vital U.S. pipeline that carries fuel from the Gulf Coast to the Northeast.(AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 11:30 AM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch says her office is monitoring for price gouging in the wake of a run on gasoline and a potential gas shortage.

Friday, hackers launched a cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline, the largest fuel pipeline in the United States. The pipeline was forced to shut down as a result.

Since then, gas stations have reported a surge in customers seeking gasoline, while others are reporting shortages.

“As we saw during the pandemic, scammers are always looking for an opportunity to scam,” Fitch said. “The ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline is shaping up to be just that kind of opportunity, and I want to warn anyone thinking about price gouging right now (that) your bad behavior will not be tolerated.”

Fitch goes on to say that her office will be monitoring the situation “closely” and that anyone who sees an excessive increase in prices is asked to call her office’s consumer protection division at (601) 359-4230 or email the division at consumer@ago.ms.gov.

Fitch is also joining the calls of other state leaders asking Mississippians not to hoard. “By panicking, we jeopardize supplies needed for emergency service vehicles and play right into the price gougers hands,” she siad. “We can work together to beat them at their own game.”

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