Attorney General Chris Koster/AG office

Joplin has a lot of needs in wake of the devastating tornado. The Attorney General wants to make sure no one takes advantage of the situation.

Attorney General Chris Koster warns that price-gouging often occurs in the wake of such tragedies.

“We’ve got investigators on the ground in Joplin who are ready to look into the topic and to begin an investigation immediately,” Koster tells the Missourinet.

Koster says his staff can examine allegations of price-gouging on site in hopes of putting a stop to it immediately. The biggest example of price gouging, Koster says, occurred in the wake of 9/ll terrorist attacks when some gas stations artificially inflated pump prices. The Attorney General urges anyone who believes a business has taken advantage of tragedy to inflate prices on such needs as food and gas to report it immediately.

“Our heart goes out to our neighbors in the Joplin area who have undergone this incredible tragedy,” Koster says. “What we want people to know is that state government, the attorney general’s office and every arm of state government is down there willing and ready to help and is absolutely there to roll up their sleeves and help people recover.”

To report suspected price-gouging: call the Attorney General’s office at 1-800-392-8222, or go online at

AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:60 MP3]