Beware of price gouging!
There have been over 500 complaints of price gouging after Hurricane Florence hit North Carolina.
Attorney General Josh Stein said that his office is receiving complaints of extreme mark ups on gas, water and hotel rooms.
The price gouging law, which went into effect when Governor Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency, states that businesses are not allowed to spike prices on necessary items – like food, water and hotels – during a natural disaster. The law remains in effect until the state of emergency is lifted.
The Attorney General’s office also warns of price gouging and other scams when it comes to repairing their homes after the storm. If you’d like to verify that you are hiring a licensed contractor – download the State Licensing Board for Contractors’ mobile app called “NCLBGC Search” or visit their website.
Businesses charged with price gouging will have to refund customers and pay up to $5,000 for each violation.
To report, potential price gouging in North Carolina, call 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or file a complaint at ncdoj.gov.
The three main points to keep in mind are:
- Is the higher price charged by the seller due to increased costs by the supplier or an increase in the cost of providing the good or service?
- Does the price charged by the seller exceed the average price in the prior 60 days?
- Is the higher price charged by the seller due to fluctuations in the market or market trends?