Consumer Awareness at Gasoline Pumps Urged

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Since Tuesday's tragic events, the Federal Trade Commission has received numerous complaints of dramatic gasoline price increases in several states. State and local officials, as well as state attorneys general, have spoken out quickly against efforts by individual retailers to raise prices and in many instances have achieved immediate price rollbacks. As the situation unfolds, the FTC will continue to monitor the situation and determine whether federal enforcement action is appropriate.

During this period, the FTC urges consumers to remain alert to sudden or unusual price increases at the pump. When purchasing gasoline, be an informed consumer and shop around to ensure you pay the lowest price. To monitor the situation, the Department of Energy has established a toll-free hotline (800-244-3301) to field consumer concerns. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has also issued a press release urging consumers who encounter sudden large price increases to contact their local BBB. (A directory of BBBs is available online at www.bbb.org.)

Additionally, the FTC operates a national clearinghouse for consumer complaints about any and all kinds of fraud and deception. Consumers may contact us at: 1-877-FTC-HELP, or by filing online complaints using our online complaint form at www.ftc.gov .

Information about the Federal Trade Commission is available from the FTC's Web site at http://www.ftc.gov. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint, or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint form at www.ftc.gov. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

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