Attorney General Moody Recovers More Than $1 Million for Consumers Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
Attorney General Ashley Moody has announced more than $1 million in recoveries for consumers contacting the Florida Attorney General’s Office regarding COVID-19 related purchases, cancellations and scams. Florida remains under a state of emergency due to the spread of the novel coronavirus and Attorney General Moody’s Price Gouging Hotline remains active for consumers to file complaints related to price increases on essential commodities needed to help prevent the spread of the virus.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “While I am extraordinarily proud of our Rapid Response Team recovering more than $1 million for consumers, our efforts are far from over. We continue to pursue allegations of extreme price increases and other COVID-19 related scams and unfair business practices, and I remain committed to doing everything under the authority of this office to stop those trying to exploit this crisis by taking advantage of Floridians.”
In addition to securing more than $1 million for consumers since activating Florida’s Price Gouging Hotline, the Florida Attorney General’s Office:
Received approximately 5,100 consumer contacts about the price of essential commodities;
Made more than 9,500 referrals and contacts to merchants about allegations of price gouging, refunds and scams;
Issued 92 subpoenas to further price gouging investigations; and
Worked with online platforms to deactivate 250 posts offering items for outrageous prices.
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 and additional penalties for violations of other applicable laws. For more information on price gouging, please click here.
For a list of the commodities covered under the state’s price gouging laws during the COVID-19 state of emergency, click here.
Price gouging can be reported by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM, visiting MyFloridaLegal.com or downloading the NO SCAM smartphone app. The app is also available in Spanish.
For tips on reporting price gouging, click here.
Since the COVID-19 emergency declaration, Attorney General Moody has issued more than 20 Consumer Alerts with information about emerging scams and tips to avoid fraud. To view the latest alerts and to stay up-to-date on COVID-19 related scams, visit the Attorney General’s Consumer Alert webpage by clicking here.
For all the Attorney General’s COVID-19 related releases and additional COVID-19 tips and resources, click here.
Source: Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody
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