Attorney General Requests Floridians to Help Fight Price Gouging During COVID-19
By Space Coast Daily // April 30, 2020
COVID-19 Price gouging IN Florida can be reported by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM
WATCH: Thousands of Floridians have filed price gouging reports during the COVID-19 pandemic. These citizen reports are providing vital information for the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division investigators working diligently to deter price gouging related to the spread of the coronavirus in Florida.
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — The Florida Attorney recently acknowledged the thousands of Floridians who filed price gouging reports during the COVID-19 pandemic.
These citizen reports are providing vital information for the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division investigators working diligently to deter price gouging related to the spread of the coronavirus in Florida.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is encouraging Floridians to keep looking out for price gouging.
“By far the number one way we find out about scammers and price gougers is through citizen reports,” said Moody.
“Because of these reports to our office, my team of consumer protection attorneys and investigators has recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars for consumers since the coronavirus struck Florida.
These reports have also helped us launch investigations, remove posts offering essential commodities for outrageous prices and preserve vital evidence to help further our price gouging cases.”
Since activating Florida’s Price Gouging Hotline, the Florida Attorney General’s Office has:
• Received approximately 3,800 consumer contacts about the price of essential commodities.
• Made more than 5,000 referrals and contacts to merchants about allegations of price gouging, refunds and scams.
• Secured more than $275,000 in refunds related to travel, leisure and product purchases.
• Issued 69 subpoenas to further price gouging investigations.
• Worked with online platforms to deactivate 185 posts offering items for outrageous prices.
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.
For more information on price gouging, please click here.
■ For a list of the commodities covered under the state’s price gouging laws during the COVID-19 state of emergency, click here.
■ Price gouging can be reported by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM, visiting MyFloridaLegal.com or downloading the NO SCAM smartphone app. The app is also available in Spanish.
■ For tips on reporting price gouging, click here.
Since the COVID-19 emergency declaration, Moody’s office has issued 11 Consumer Alerts with information about emerging scams and tips to avoid fraud.
■ To view the latest alerts and to stay up-to-date on COVID-19 related scams, visit the Attorney General’s Consumer Alert webpage by clicking here.
Last week, Moody announced legal action to stop deceptive marketing exploiting COVID-19 stimulus payments, and the Consumer Protection Division also launched an investigation into Norwegian Cruise Lines and is taking action against third-party sellers using Amazon to allegedly gouge consumers.
For all the Attorney General’s COVID-19 related releases and additional COVID-19 tips and resources, click here.
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