State Activates Price-Gouging Hotline

posted by Alan McBride -

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has activated Florida’s price gouging hotline for consumers in multiple Florida counties. 

The opening of the hotline came as Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in 31 counties because of Tropical Storm Emily. 

Florida's price gouging law only applies within the area of the declared state of emergency.

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 that law can be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor.

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