This week, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody announced more than $1 million in recoveries for consumers contacting the Florida Attorney General’s Office regarding COVID-19 related purchases, cancellations and scams.
Florida remains under a state of emergency due to the spread of the novel coronavirus and Moody’s Price Gouging Hotline remains active for consumers to file complaints related to price increases on essential commodities needed to help prevent the spread of the virus.
“While I am extraordinarily proud of our Rapid Response Team recovering more than $1 million for consumers, our efforts are far from over. We continue to pursue allegations of extreme price increases and other COVID-19 related scams and unfair business practices, and I remain committed to doing everything under the authority of this office to stop those trying to exploit this crisis by taking advantage of Floridians,” Moody said this week.
In addition to securing more than $1 million for consumers since activating Florida’s Price Gouging Hotline, the Florida Attorney General’s Office:
- Received approximately 5,100 consumer contacts about the price of essential commodities;
- Made more than 9,500 referrals and contacts to merchants about allegations of price gouging, refunds and scams;
- Issued 92 subpoenas to further price gouging investigations; and
- Worked with online platforms to deactivate 250 posts offering items for outrageous prices.
Violators of the price gouging statute are subject to civil penalties of $1,000 per violation, up to a total of $25,000 for multiple violations committed in a single 24-hour period and additional penalties for violations of other applicable laws.