Report price gauging during weather emergencies

SCAM ALERT
SCAM ALERT(WGCL)
Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 5:33 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - If you notice price gauging during this active weather situation, Attorney General Ashley Moody has activated Florida’s Price Gouging Hotline with Tropical Depression Nine approaching the state.

The activation comes following Governor Ron DeSantis’s state-of-emergency declaration for 24 counties. In areas covered by the state of emergency, Floridians can report instances of severe price increases on essential commodities needed to prepare for the storm.

During a storm-related declared state of emergency, state law prohibits excessive increases in the price of essential commodities, such as food, water, hotel rooms, ice, gasoline, lumber, equipment and storm-related services needed as a direct result of the event.

The state of emergency for Tropical Depression Nine is declared for the following counties: Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota and St. Lucie.

Anyone who suspects price gouging can report it to the Florida Attorney General’s Office by using the No Scam app, visiting MyFloridaLegal.com or calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM.

Attorney General Moody’s No Scam app can be downloaded for free on Apple and Android devices through the app store by searching No Scam.

Violators of the price gouging statute are subject to civil penalties of $1,000 per violation and up to a total of $25,000 for multiple violations committed in a single 24-hour period. In addition to the civil penalties for price gouging, state law criminalizes the sale of goods and services to the public without possession of a business tax receipt.To download Attorney General Moody’s Scams at a Glance: Price Gouging brochure in English, click here. To download the Spanish version, click here.

For tips on what to do before and after a storm strikes, download the 2022 Hurricane Preparedness Guide here. For the Spanish version, click here.