COVID-19 UPDATE: Florida Attorney General’s Rapid Response Team Acts Quickly to Deter Price Gouging
By Space Coast Daily // April 10, 2020
'We will not relent in our efforts to protect Floridians from gouging and scams during this unprecedented time of crisis'
WATCH: Since Attorney General Moody activated the Price Gouging Hotline, the Attorney General’s Rapid Response Team has been working diligently and getting results for Floridians concerned about price gouging and COVID-19 related scams.
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — It’s an all hands on deck approach as Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Office continues to fight price gouging. Since Attorney General Moody activated the Price Gouging Hotline following the Governor’s COVID-19 emergency declaration.
The Attorney General’s Rapid Response Team has been working diligently and getting results for Floridians concerned about price gouging and COVID-19 related scams.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Members of my Rapid Response Team, Consumer Protection Division and Price Gouging Hotline are working with a sense of urgency to address consumer concerns in real-time. Since activating the hotline, our office has secured more than $130,000 in refunds for consumers and issued 59 investigative subpoenas.
“We will not relent in our efforts to protect Floridians from gouging and scams during this unprecedented time of crisis. You can help by reporting outrageous price increases on essential commodities to my office whenever and wherever you encounter them.”
Since activating Florida’s Price Gouging Hotline, the Florida Attorney General’s Office has:
• Received approximately 2,000 consumer contacts about the price of essential commodities;
• Made more than 2,700 referrals and contacts to merchants about allegations of price gouging, refunds and scams;
• Secured more than $130,000 in refunds related to travel, leisure and product purchases;
• Issued 59 subpoenas to further price gouging investigations; and worked with online platforms to deactivate more than 130 posts offering items for outrageous prices.
Attorney General Moody recently announced an investigation into Norwegian Cruise Lines. The Office is also taking action against third-party sellers using Amazon to allegedly gouge consumers.
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.
Price gouging can be reported by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM, visiting MyFloridaLegal.com or downloading the NO SCAM smartphone app.
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