Attorney General Pam Bondi News Release


May 26, 2018
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150

Attorney General Bondi Activates Price Gouging Hotline

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi today activated Florida’s price gouging hotline for consumers statewide. The opening of the hotline comes as Governor Rick Scott declares a state of emergency in 67 counties and warns of heavy rain and flooding as we continue to monitor Subtropical Storm Alberto. Florida’s price gouging law only applies within the area of the declared state of emergency, which in this case is all Florida counties.

State law prohibits extreme increases in the price of essential commodities, such as food, water, hotels, ice, gasoline, lumber and equipment, needed as a direct result of an officially declared emergency. Anyone who suspects price gouging during this declared state of emergency should report it to the Attorney General’s Office by calling 1-866-9-NO-SCAM.

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. In addition to the civil penalties for price gouging, state law criminalizes the sale of goods and services to the public without possession of an occupational license. Violators of the law can be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor.

Specifically, 
Florida Statute 501.160 states that during a state of emergency, it is unlawful to sell, lease, offer to sell, or offer for lease essential commodities, dwelling units, or self-storage facilities for an amount that grossly exceeds the average price for that commodity during the 30 days before the declaration of the state of emergency, unless the seller can justify the price by showing increases in its prices or market trends.

For more information on price gouging, please click 
here.