FORT MYERS, Fla. It’s illegal for businesses to overprice necessities during a state of emergency.
But it happens sometimes, particularly as hurricanes draw near in Florida.
Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for all of Florida on Monday, meaning business are subject to fines of up to $25,000 for price gouging on items like food, ice, gas and lumber.
Items that aren’t essential, like cigarettes and alcohol, aren’t subject to price gouging rules.
If you suspect price gouging, here’s what to do:
- Call the attorney general’s hotline at 866-9-NO-SCAM or visit the attorney general’s website to report what you’ve seen.
- Take photos of the product or a receipt with the price. Try to get the product’s name and size in the photo so the state can compare the price to similar products.
- For lumber, note the grade and thickness.
WINK News reporter Kim Powell has more: