In anticipation of Tropical Storm Karen, Attorney General Pam Bondi has activated the price gouging hotline, which allows people to report extreme increases in the price of essential items including food, hotels and gasoline in a declared state of emergency.
Florida law prohibits extreme increases in the price of commodities such as food, water, hotels, ice, gasoline, lumber and equipment, needed as a result of a declared emergency.
“Anyone who suspects price gouging in affected areas during this declared state of emergency should contact my office,” Bondi said in a news release. “Consumers should be vigilant and can help protect themselves from price gouging by obtaining multiple estimates for construction jobs, carefully checking all payment terms and other provisions of contracts, and only doing business with reputable contractors and businessmen.”
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. To report price gauging, call 1-866-9NO-SCAM (1-866-966-7226).