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NC's price gouging law activated by state of emergency status ahead of TS Ian

WLOS Asheville/Greenville 9/29/2022 Brittany Whitehead
© Provided by WLOS Asheville/Greenville

North Carolina's price gouging law is officially in effect as of Wednesday, Sept. 28, with Gov. Roy Cooper's State of Emergency declaration issued Wednesday, Attorney General Josh Stein announced. 

North Carolina’s law against price gouging, or charging too much in times of a crisis, goes into effect when the governor or the legislature declares a state of emergency.

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© Provided by WLOS Asheville/Greenville

A state of emergency was put into effect ahead of the anticipated impact of Tropical Storm Ian, which slammed into Florida's gulf coast Wednesday as a catastrophic category 4 hurricane just after 3 p.m. Now downgraded to a tropical storm, Ian is expected to move back out into the Atlantic Ocean before swerving back west and making landfall again sometime Friday evening along the South Carolina coast before heading north to North Carolina by Saturday morning. 

“We don’t yet know what kind of damage Hurricane Ian will bring to North Carolina, but we do know that it will bring out scammers,” Josh Stein said. “Please report concerns about price gougers to my office so we can hold them accountable for exploiting people’s desperation.”

It is illegal for businesses to unreasonably raise the price of goods or services to profit from a state of emergency. 

NC ATTORNEY GENERAL SAYS MORE THAN 1,200 PRICE GOUGING COMPLAINTS BEING INVESTIGATED

Stein asks that North Carolinians report potential price gouging they see or experience by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or by filing a complaint at https://ncdoj.gov/pricegouging, as Stein said his office is prepared to take action against any person or business engaging in price gouging.

Since 2018, AG Stein has brought 11 lawsuits against 27 defendants under North Carolina’s price gouging statute. He has obtained 14 judgments or settlements totaling $1,080,000 against 25 defendants, including a $274,000 settlement that was the largest price gouging settlement in the department’s history.

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