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Pam Bondi activates price gouging hotline

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Attorney General Pam Bondi on Monday night activated Florida’s price gouging hotline for all consumers in Florida.

The opening of the hotline came after Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in all 67 counties because of Hurricane Irma—a Category 4 hurricane that could hit the state this week.

“Floridians need to prepare now and they should not be inhibited by unlawful price increases on supplies necessary to brace for a major hurricane strike—that is why I’ve activated Florida’s Price Gouging Hotline and encourage anyone who suspects price gouging to report it to my office by calling (866) 9-NO-SCAM,” Bondi said.

“By reporting suspected price gouging you can protect yourself and your fellow Floridians.”

State law prohibits extreme increases in the price of essential commodities—such as food, water, hotels, ice, gasoline, lumber and equipment—after an officially declared emergency. Anyone who suspects price gouging during this declared state of emergency should report it to the Attorney General’s Office by calling (866) 9-NO-SCAM.

Violators of 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, in addition to other civil penalties that may apply.

State law also criminalizes the sale of goods and services to the public without possession of an occupational license. Violators of the law can be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor.

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