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Price gouging law in effect in North Carolina

The price gouging law can only go into effect after a governor has declared a state of emergency.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — North Carolina’s price gouging law is in effect following the temporary shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline.

Gov. Roy Cooper declared a statewide state of emergency Monday in response to the ransomware cyberattack.

Cooper signed the Executive Order which temporarily suspends motor vehicle fuel regulations to ensure adequate fuel supplies throughout the state. It will also allow fuel transportation waivers following the attack.

RELATED: Gov. Cooper issues State of Emergency after Colonial Pipeline ransomware cyber-attack

The price gouging law can only go into effect after a governor has declared a state of emergency. Businesses are forbidden from price gouging or charging too much in times of a crisis.  

Under the law, businesses cannot unreasonably raise the price of goods or services to profit from a state of emergency. However, businesses and industries heavily impacted by the incident causing the state of emergency that have a reasonable need to increase prices in order to resupply should disclose the increases to allow people to make informed decisions, according to the state.

“North Carolina’s price gouging law is in effect – please let my office know if businesses or people might be trying to profit off this situation so we can hold them accountable,” Attorney General Josh Stein said.

You can report high gas prices or price gouging by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or by filing a complaint with the NCDOJ’s office. The office will then review the complaints closely and possibly take action against a business.

Since 2018, there have been nine lawsuits 25 defendants under North Carolina’s price gouging law. The DOJ has won more than $975,000 under the judgments and settlements.