Florida activates coronavirus price-gouging hotline

If you think you spot price gouging related to the coronavirus outbreak in Florida, the state attorney general wants to hear from you.

Attorney General Ashley Moody today activated Florida’s Price Gouging Hotline for all consumers in the state. The emergency declaration by Gov. Ron DeSantis late yesterday cleared the way for the move, which usually only comes during hurricane threats.

“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,” Moody said. “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.”

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

Moody's office noted that violators of the state’s price-gouging statute are subject to penalties of $1,000 per violation and up to a total of $25,000 for multiple violations committed in a single 24-hour period.

“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,” Moody added.

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