Attorney General Ashley Moody News Release
|May 19, 2020
Contact: Kylie Mason
Phone: (850) 245-0150
|en Español||Print Version||Tweet|
VIDEO: Attorney General Moody Recognizes Price Gouging Hotline Team Members for Working to Protect Florida Consumers During Crisis
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody today highlighted the hardworking team members operating the Price Gouging Hotline. Attorney General Moody activated the Price Gouging Hotline following the Governor’s COVID-19 emergency declaration. Since the activation, team members operating the hotline have fielded thousands of calls and processed thousands more online contacts from consumers reporting alleged price gouging and other virus-related scams.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “The team members operating our Price Gouging Hotline have worked tirelessly throughout this crisis—fielding calls and complaints from Floridians concerned about outrageous price increases and scams. Many of them quickly adapted to working remotely. Others, following strict CDC health guidelines, social distanced and worked periodically from our call center. Their dedication to our mission of protecting Floridians has helped our Consumer Protection Division Rapid Response Team secure more than half a million dollars in refunds for consumers and further price gouging investigations.”
The Price Gouging Hotline is operated by the members of Attorney General Moody’s Office of Citizen Services. Hotline team members answer phone calls, emails, online submissions and NO SCAM app reports from consumers. The information they obtain through these communications is vital to helping investigators and members of the Attorney General’s Rapid Response Team get results for Florida consumers.
Since activating Florida’s Price Gouging Hotline, the Florida Attorney General’s Office has:
- Received approximately 4,500 consumer contacts about the price of essential commodities;
- Made more than 6,500 referrals and contacts to merchants about allegations of price gouging, refunds and scams;
- Secured more than $503,000 in refunds related to travel, leisure and product purchases;
- Issued 73 subpoenas to further price gouging investigations; and
- Worked with online platforms to deactivate more than 189 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.
For tips on reporting price gouging, click here.
Since the COVID-19 emergency declaration, Attorney General Moody has issued 12 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.