Rapid Response Team Acts to Deter Price Gouging
Apr 7, 2020
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—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.
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 six 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.