State Attorney General Ashley Moody has expanded Florida’s Price Gouging Hotline as a major storm threatening the state intensifies.
The expansion comes following Gov. Ron DeSantis’s amended executive order expanding the state of emergency to all 67 counties in Florida. Floridians statewide can now report instances of severe price increases on essential commodities needed to prepare for the storm to the Attorney General’s Office. Florida’s price gouging law only applies to commodities and services essential to preparing for, or recovering from, a storm during a declared state of emergency.
“As Tropical Storm Ian intensifies, I am expanding Florida’s Price Gouging Hotline statewide. Please watch Ian closely, and as you prepare for a potential storm strike, report incidences of price gouging to my office,” Moody said.
During a storm-related declared state of emergency, state law prohibits excessive increases in the price of essential commodities, such as food, water, hotel rooms, ice, gasoline, lumber, equipment and storm-related services needed as a direct result of the event.
Anyone who suspects price gouging can report it to the Florida Attorney General’s Office by using the No Scam app, visiting MyFloridaLegal.com or calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM. Moody’s No Scam app can be downloaded for free on Apple and Android devices through the app store by searching 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 a business tax receipt.
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