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Florida activates price gouging hotline amid coronavirus outbreak

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody activated the state’s price gouging hotline on Tuesday amid shortages of key products related to the coronavirus.

The hotline was activated following Gov. Ron DeSantis’ emergency declaration on Monday in response to 14 confirmed cases across the state, including two in Lee County and one in Charlotte County.

The emergency declaration covers essential goods outlined in Florida Statute, Section 501.160.

Many stores across the area are experiencing shortages of protective items such as face masks, hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies and hand soap as people try to stay healthy. A list of items covered under the price gouging law can be found here.

“I have a rapid response team ready to immediately respond to allegations of price gouging and our Consumer Protection Division continues to look for scams by fraudsters who would use this situation to rip-off Floridians,” Moody said Tuesday.

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. For more information on price gouging, please click here.

Price gouging can be reported by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or by visiting MyFloridaLegal.com. For tips on reporting price gouging, click here.

Writer:Jackie Winchester
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