The Oklahoma attorney general's office is moving quickly to prevent businesses from gouging helpless consumers in the wake of Monday's tornado.
Prosecutors in storm-ravaged parts of Oklahoma are harnessing a special law to ensure that desperate victims aren't ripped off by unscrupulous business owners.
The Oklahoma attorney general's office has already dispatched a team of investigators to uncover cases of price gouging and fraud in the wake of Monday's deadly tornado in Moore, ABC News reported.
According to the Emergency Price Stabilization Act, passed after another devastating tornado ripped through Oklahoma in 1999, businesses are barred from increasing prices more than 10 percent on goods and services like water and hotel rooms for 30 days following a disaster.
That period is extended to 180 days for construction services.
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt told ABC News that his office already has found a grocery store trying to sell water for $40 a case and a hotel overcharging, in violation of the Stabilization Act. His office is also examining prices on storage units, work gloves and rental cars, Pruitt said.
"They would never anticipate or expect or guess that someone would take advantage of them right now, but this situation is what criminals prey upon," he told ABC News.