First their homes, now their pocketbooks. The Attorney General’s Office is investigating more than 230 complaints about scam artists exploiting residents in southwest Missouri in the wake of the winter snow and ice storm that rocked the area. Spokesman John Fougere says consumers are facing artificially inflated costs from price-gouging. Fougere says most of the price-gouging complaints are concentrated along Interstate 44 between Joplin and Lebanon. He says the price hikes include items and services such as gasoline costing a dollar more per gallon, kerosene and portable generators costing double and triple their original prices, motel room rates costing between 50 and 75 dollars more a night, and inflated costs in tree trimming services. Fougere says the attorney general’s office will not tolerate the sudden price hikes and says the attorney general’s office is committed to getting residents their restitution. Residents with complaints can call the Consumer Protection Hotline and 1-800-392-8222 or can go online at

Related web sites:
Attorney General’s Office Website