LAKE MARY, Fla. - As Florida residents rush to the store's before Hurricane Ian makes landfall, state officials want to thwart price gouging since many essential commodities, like water, may become scarce.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody expanded Florida's Price Gouging Hotline on Saturday.
Florida's residents can now report instances of severe price gouging on essential items needed to prepare before Hurricane Ian.
The price gouging law only applies to commodities and services essential to preparing for, or recovering from, a storm during a declared state of emergency.
"As Tropical Storm Ian intensifies, I am expanding Florida's Price Gouging Hotline statewide. Please watch Ian closely, and as you prepare for a potential storm strike, report incidences of price gouging to my office," said Attorney General Ashley Moody.
Florida state law prohibits excessive increases in the price of essential commodities such as food, water, hotel rooms, ice, gasoline, lumber, equipment and storm-related services needed as a direct result of the storm.
Residents who suspect price gouging can report it to the Florida Attorney General hotline (866)- 9NO-SCAM and also by using the No Scam app.
Those who violate 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.