For Immediate Release:
Friday, August 30, 2019
(RALEIGH) The price gouging law that protects people from scammers is now in effect in North Carolina after Gov. Roy Cooper declared a statewide state of emergency to support relief efforts for Hurricane Dorian. Attorney General Josh Stein notified businesses and people today to be on the lookout for any issues.
“As Hurricane Dorian approaches, North Carolina is under a state of emergency and our price gouging law is in effect,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “It is illegal to charge excessive prices during a state of emergency. If you see a business taking advantage of this storm, let my office know so we can hold them accountable and protect you from price gougers.”
North Carolina has a strong statute against price gouging – charging too much during a time of crisis – that is tied directly to a declaration of a state of emergency. When Gov. Cooper declared a state of emergency for North Carolina on Friday, Aug. 30, the statute went into effect for the entire state.
Attorney General Stein and the North Carolina Department of Justice will be reviewing price gouging complaints from consumers closely and are prepared to take action against any businesses engaging in price gouging activities. Please report potential price gouging by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or by filing a complaint at https://ncdoj.gov/file-a-complaint/price-gouging/.
After Hurricanes Michael and Florence devastated North Carolina in 2018, Attorney General Stein brought seven lawsuits against 22 defendants under North Carolina’s price gouging statute. He has obtained five judgments against 13 defendants, including a $274,000 settlement that was one of the largest price gouging settlements in the department’s history. The Attorney General’s Office has won more than $500,000 in these judgments, including:
- $240,006 in consumer restitution
- $216,120 in money companies are barred from collecting from homeowners
- $80,000 in penalties and fees
Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484