CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson reminded everyone on Tuesday the state’s law against price gouging is now in effect.
“With the possibility that Hurricane Dorian could affect South Carolina, our people have already started making preparations, including evacuating the coast. We can expect normal price increases, but we may see businesses and individuals looking to unfairly take advantage of the situation through price gouging of food, gasoline, lodging, and other commodities as defined by the statute. By our law, that’s a criminal violation and an unfair trade practice,” Wilson said.
The price-gouging law is a general prohibition of unconscionable prices during times of disaster, according to the news release. Officials stated that it is in effect until the state of emergency expires or is terminated. Price gougers can be charged for excessive pricing, a misdemeanor offense punishable with a $1,000 fine and/or 30 days in jail.
If you feel like you are the victim of price gouging there are certain steps that you can take to help our office investigate.
Please do the following:
- Note the time, place, address, and name of the gas station or business
- Note the price you paid
- Note any prices nearby and get the same information on those stations or businesses
- Take pictures that identify the business, along with the price
- Provide your name and contact information