ST PETERSBURG, Fla. - The state price gouging hotline was activated ahead of Hurricane Irma, hours after Gov. Rick Scott issued a state of emergency for Florida's 67 counties.

“Floridians need to prepare now and they should not be inhibited by unlawful price increases on supplies necessary to brace for a major hurricane strike — that is why I’ve activated Florida’s Price Gouging Hotline and encourage anyone who suspects price gouging to report it to my office by calling (866)-9-NO-SCAM,” Attorney General Pam Bondi said in a statement. “By reporting suspected price gouging you can protect yourself and your fellow Floridians.”

State law prohibits extreme price increases of essential commodities, including food, water, hotels, ice and gasoline, as a result of an officially declared emergency.

Any suspected price gouging can be reported by calling 1-866-NO-SCAM.