Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein has reminded the public that it is illegal to charge excessive prices during a state of emergency. Price gouging laws ensure necessities remain affordable and accessible for all during an emergency.
Many North Carolina residents will recognize these laws from other emergencies, like hurricanes. During those natural disasters people may collect more canned foods than they would ever need. Admist the pandemic, some people are stock-piling necessities in order to resell them at a higher value. For example, during the pandemic some people are buying up all disinfectants and hand-sanitizer. Sometimes consumers do this to ensure they have a steady supply, but panic buying only worsens the present crisis.
Some consumer advocacy groups are monitoring prices for necessities online. It can be tough for local authorities to enforce the statutes with the proliferation of online shopping. Because it’s difficult to enforce, it’s important that consumers remain watchful for violations.
You can report a possible price gouging by calling 1-877-5-NOSCAM or by going online to ncdoj.gov/complaint. If you believe you have a case against a business or individual who is charging excessive prices, contact us today at 919-526-0450, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through our contact page.