For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, January 5, 2022
Nazneen Ahmed (919) 716-0060
(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today encouraged North Carolinians to report price gouging related to the coronavirus pandemic to the North Carolina Department of Justice. Please report potential price gouging by filing a complaint at https://ncdoj.gov/gouging or by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM. In particular, our office has heard anecdotally that there may be price gouging occurring on at-home COVID tests. Filing a complaint with our office at https://ncdoj.gov/gouging helps alert us to price gouging concerns and gives us necessary information to better review them.
“Even as people continue to get vaccinated, we are still very much in this pandemic,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “If you are shopping for COVID-19 tests or other pandemic-related goods and services in the coming weeks and see excessive prices, let my office know. I have already taken successful action against those who attempt to unlawfully take advantage of North Carolinians during this crisis, and I will not hesitate to in the future.”
North Carolina’s price gouging statute, which prohibits charging too much for goods and services during a crisis, is in effect today under Executive Order 245 and stays in effect until April 5, 2022. In some cases, businesses and industries that are heavily impacted by a crisis have a reasonable need to increase prices but they should disclose these increases and allow people to make informed purchasing decisions. Businesses and sellers cannot, however, unreasonably raise the price of goods or services to profit during a crisis.
To get verified information about the pandemic, please visit the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Since 2018, Attorney General Stein has brought 11 lawsuits against 27 defendants under North Carolina’s price gouging statute. He has obtained 10 judgments against 19 defendants, including a $274,000 settlement that was the largest price gouging settlement in the department’s history. DOJ has won more than $995,000 in these judgments and settlements.
More on Attorney General Stein’s work to fight price gouging during COVID-19:
- Attorney General Josh Stein Wins $150,000 in PPE Price Gouging Judgment
- Attorney General Josh Stein Defends North Carolina’s Price Gouging Law
- Attorney General Josh Stein Investigates Nine Online Sellers for Price Gouging
- Attorney General Josh Stein Gets Temporary Restraining Order Against Alleged COVID-19 Price Gouger
- Attorney General Josh Stein Wins Preliminary Injunction Against Towing Company in COVID-19 Price Gouging Lawsuit