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Florida price gouging numbers continue to climb

Kiplinger's ranks the U.S. cities with the most millionaires based off an annual survey by research firm Phoenix Marketing
Kiplinger's ranks the U.S. cities with the most millionaires based off an annual survey by research firm Phoenix Marketing

Floridians have received nearly $500,000 in refunds from businesses after allegations of inflated prices linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, new numbers show.

The state’s price-gouging hotline has been contacted about 4,400 times, and more than $497,000 has been returned to consumers since a state of emergency was declared in March because of the virus.

Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office has contacted 6,300 businesses about price-gouging allegations related to products such as protective equipment.

"We want to make sure these essential commodities like cleaning supplies and protective gear are available to them (residents) at a fair price,” Moody said. “So, as long as this COVID-19 emergency is in place, we will keep fighting.”

People who violate the state’s price-gouging law can face penalties of $1,000 per violation, up to $25,000 a day.

For more information on price gouging, 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.

For tips on reporting price gouging, click here.