CHARLOTTE, NC -- North Carolina s price gouging law is now in effect because a state of emergency has been declared, both because of the storm on the coast and in the mountains.

The Attorney General's Office is warning anyone thinking of price gouging generators or anything else deemed critical goods and services that it is against the law to do so and you will be prosecuted if you are caught doing it.

Attorney General Roy Cooper said, we re warning price gougers don t use a crisis as an excuse to make an unfair profit off of consumers.

The law applies to all levels of the supply chain, all the way from the manufacturer down to the distributor and retailer.

This means you shouldn't pay more than the going rate for supplies in the 38 counties in North Carolina hit by the hurricane.

The same goes for our viewers living in western North Carolina who are dealing with all the snow that fell as a result of this hurricane.

Twenty-four counties in the western part of the state are now under an emergency order. Cooper says they want to know about anyone using the storm as a way to rip people off, and in the past, his office has used this law to win thousands of dollars worth of refunds for consumers.

If you think you are being ripped off contact NBC Charlotte Consumer Investigator Bill McGinty at, and the Attorney General s Office at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM. You can fill out a complaint form by clicking

You can follow Bill on twitter @billwcnc and on Facebook under Bill McGinty WCNC Charlotte

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