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Florida price gouging hotline activated amid coronavirus outbreak

Florida price gouging hotline activated amid coronavirus outbreak
Posted at 11:16 AM, Mar 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-31 11:16:35-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Florida's Price Gouging Hotline has been activated to help consumers avoid rip-offs on cleaning supplies amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Tuesday, Attorney General Ashley Moody activated Florida’s Price Gouging Hotline for all consumers in the state.

Coronavirus Map

Price gouging can be reported by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or by visiting MyFloridaLegal.com.

You can also download the free "NO SCAM" app through Apple and Android stores.

The app can be used to Send pictures of prices on signs and products; capture and report receipts; write narratives of interactions with sellers of a good or commodity; report evidence of prices of identical products by different sellers in the same vicinity; and capture additional supporting documentation.

“We are monitoring the COVID-19 situation in Florida very closely and following the Governor’s state of emergency declaration, our price gouging laws are now in effect," said Moody. "I have a rapid response team ready to immediately respond to allegations of price gouging and our Consumer Protection Division continues to look for scams by fraudsters who would use this situation to rip-off Floridians."

The opening of the hotline comes as Governor Ron DeSantis declares a state of emergency in response to positive test results of 20 coronavirus-infected patients in Florida.

“Be on the lookout for scams and guard against gouging, but remember, the best thing you can do right now is heed the advice of health experts—wash hands regularly and stay home if you are ill,” said Moody.

COMPLETE COVERAGE OF CORONAVIRUS

Commodities protected by the state’s price gouging law include:

  • Protective masks used to protect you from others if you are sick.
  • Sanitizing and disinfecting supplies, such as hand sanitizer, gel, wipes, cleaning supplies for surface cleaning.
  • All commercial cleaning supplies

Violators of the price gouging statute could be subject to a $1,000 penalty per violation and up to a total of $25,000 for multiple violations committed in a single 24-hour period.

For more information about how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention webpage by clicking here. For tips on reporting price gouging, click here.

This story was originally published for WTXL