TALLAHASSEE, FL LAWFUEL – Legal Newswire – Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced the activation of the Attorney Generals Price Gouging Hotline and urged Floridians to be alert for anyone who may try to take advantage of people attempting to prepare for or impacted by the coming storm.
The Attorney General’s action follows Governor Charlie Crists official declaration of a State of Emergency due to approaching Tropical Storm Fay.
Residents who suspect price gouging may call the hotline at 1-866-9-NO-SCAM (1-866-966-7226), and investigators will then research the complaint. Florida law prohibits extreme increases in the price of such commodities as food, water, hotels, ice, gasoline, lumber and equipment needed as a direct result of an officially declared emergency.
Under Florida law, the price of goods or services are considered exorbitant if the increase represents a “gross disparity” from the average price of that commodity during the 30 days prior to the declared emergency. Violators of the price gouging statute are subject to civil penalties of $1,000 per violation, up to a total of $25,000 for multiple violations committed in a single 24-hour period.
The Attorney Generals Office is also available to provide relief to storm victims through the Florida Crisis Response Team. The FCRT consists of trained volunteer crisis responders from the Attorney Generals Division of Victim Services, national and state relief organizations, and members of law enforcement. More information is available online at: