As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to plague Florida, state Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office continues to fight price gouging and protect consumers.
This week, Moody announced that the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division has already secured more than $240,000 in refunds for consumers and continues to look into allegations of price gouging.
“Since the emergency declaration, we have been working diligently to review and act on the thousands of price gouging reports flooding into our office. Our first goal is to stop price gouging in real time so Floridians can afford the essential commodities they need to protect their health—and I am proud to say we are meeting this goal with approximately 185 outrageous online posts removed and more than $240,000 in refunds quickly issued,” Moody said.
“But our work does not end there. We are also preserving evidence, issuing subpoenas and taking other legal measures to advance our price gouging investigations. Floridians can help us in this endeavor by reporting outrageous price increases to my office,” she added.
Since activating Florida’s Price Gouging Hotline, the Florida Attorney General’s Office has:
- Received approximately 3,350 consumer contacts about the price of essential commodities;
- Made more than 4,500 referrals and contacts to merchants about allegations of price gouging, refunds and scams;
- Secured more than $240,000 in refunds related to travel, leisure and product purchases;
Issued 65 subpoenas to further price gouging investigations; and
- Worked with online platforms to deactivate more than 185 posts offering items for outrageous prices.
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.