Attorney General Ashley Moody added Hurricane Isaias to the state’s price-gouging hotline operations on Friday.
“If you see price gouging, report it to my office,” Moody said in a video released by her office. The move came after Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for 19 counties as the storm churned toward Florida’s Atlantic coast.
State law prohibits excessive increases in the price of essential commodities --- such as food, water, hotel rooms, ice, gasoline and lumber --- during a state of emergency. Violators face a civil penalty of $1,000 per violation and up to a total of $25,000 for multiple violations committed in a single 24-hour period.
The hotline is already operational due to other on-going emergencies, including the coronavirus pandemic and the lingering impacts of Hurricane Michael, which devastated parts of the Florida Panhandle in October 2018.
“Essential commodities for each event may differ, but it is against the law for sellers to use an emergency to rip off Floridians, and we will work in real-time to ensure consumers can obtain these items at a fair price to protect their property and families,” Moody said in Friday’s release.
The hotline is available using Moody’s NO SCAM app or by calling 1-866-9NO-SCAM.