TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) — Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle has opened her Price Gouging Hotline due to Hurricane Isaias and Florida Attorney General has one available as well.
“Now that the Governor has declared a state of emergency, price gouging is a criminal offense. We are joining efforts with the Miami-Dade Police Department to combat any greedy individuals and businesses that may use tragic events like a hurricane to take advantage of our community’s fundamental needs by unnecessarily hiking prices to outrageous levels,” commented State Attorney Fernandez Rundle. “Greedy actions will not be tolerated before, during, or after any natural disaster.”READ MORE: Florida City Police Officers Arrest Driver Wanted In Fatal Hit-&-Run Of Mini Scooter Rider
If you’d like to report any suspicion of price gouging, email Hotline@miamisao.com. There will be an automatic reply that the information submitted will be reviewed.
Email should include the business name, physical address, item(s) believed to be price-gouged with photos and receipt(s) and contact information.
You can also call the State Attorney’s Hotline at 305-547-3300.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody also 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.READ MORE: Harvest Moon Right Before Fall Season Starts, Are King Tides Possible?
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.MORE NEWS: Miami International Airport Tops Country For Highest Number Of TSA Employees To Have Gotten COVID
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