For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, March 10, 2020
Be Cautious and Avoid Scams
Price Gouging Law in Effect in North Carolina
(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 in response to the coronavirus. Attorney General Josh Stein notified businesses and people today to be on the lookout for any issues.
“With reports of coronavirus infections on the rise, 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 businesses taking advantage of this crisis, let my office know and we will work to hold them accountable.”
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 Tuesday, March 10, 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/.
To get verified information about the crisis, please visit the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization.
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 eight judgments against 17 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 $725,000 in these judgments, including:
- $242,500 in consumer restitution
- $392,500 in money companies are barred from collecting from homeowners
- $94,500 in penalties and fees
Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484