On Thursday, state Attorney General Ashley Moody announced more than $700,000 in recoveries for consumers contacting the Florida Attorney General’s Office regarding COVID-19 related purchases and scams.
Florida remains under a state of emergency due to the spread of the novel coronavirus. Gov. Ron DeSantis issued the emergency declaration in March. Following the declaration, Moody activated Florida’s Price Gouging Hotline for consumers to file complaints related to essential commodities needed to prevent contracting the virus.
“As Florida’s attorney general, I will always do whatever it takes to help consumers that have been taken advantage of—especially in times of crisis. That is why even before the emergency declaration went into effect, we were working with businesses and consumers to secure refunds, remove online posts offering items for outrageous prices and stop deceptive business practices. I am pleased with the results we are getting for consumers, but rest assured, our work is far from over and we continue to wake up early every day and focus on building a stronger, safer Florida,” Moody said on Thursday.
In addition to securing $703,043 for consumers since activating Florida’s Price Gouging Hotline, the Florida Attorney General’s Office:
- Received approximately 4,800 consumer contacts about the price of essential commodities;
- Made more than 7,800 referrals and contacts to merchants about allegations of price gouging, refunds and scams;
- Issued 82 subpoenas to further price gouging investigations; and
- Worked with online platforms to deactivate 224 posts offering items for outrageous prices.