RALEIGH, N.C. — The price gouging law is now in effect after a state of emergency has been declared in North Carolina ahead of Hurricane Dorian.
State officials want to warn you to be on the lookout for scammers looking to take advantage of people before and after Hurricane Dorian. The state has a strong statute against price gouging which is charging too much during a time of crisis.
“As Hurricane Dorian approaches, North Carolina is under a state of emergency and our price gouging law is in effect,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “It is illegal to charge excessive prices during a state of emergency. If you see a business taking advantage of this storm, let my office know so we can hold them accountable and protect you from price gougers.”
Price gouging is when sellers spike prices higher than what is considered fair. Some would say they raise the prices to an 'unethical' extent.
You should report gas prices that seem unreasonably high to the state.
HOW TO REPORT PRICE GOUGING
- Call the Attorney General's office at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM
- Fill out a price gouging complaint online.
- Mail a complaint to:
Consumer Protection Division
Attorney General's Office
Mail Service Center 9001
Raleigh, NC 27699-9001
HOW DOES THE LAW DEFINE PRICE GOUGING
North Carolina law (Chapter 75-38) defines price gouging as charging “a price that is unreasonably excessive under the circumstances.” There is no set price or percentage increase defined in the law so the law can apply to different products and services in times of crisis. In this case, the law has in effect specifically to prevent gas price gouging. If a gas price looks excessive, report it.
WHAT SHOULD I REPORT?
It’s helpful if you can provide receipts if you purchased gas, or photos of gas station price signs you spot.
WHAT HAPPENS TO PRICE GOUGERS?
Price gougers can face fines of up to $5,000 for each violation under North Carolina law. According to our state Constitution, all fines go to support the public schools. We also try to win refunds for consumers whenever possible.
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