Attorney General Ashley Moody has expanded Florida’s Price Gouging Hotline. During a storm-related declared state of emergency, state law prohibits excessive increases in the price of essential commodities such as food, water, hotel rooms, ice, gasoline, lumber, equipment and storm-related services. Violators are subject to civil penalties of $1,000 per violation and up to $25,000 for multiple violations committed in a single 24-hour period.
Anyone who suspects price gouging can report it to Florida Attorney General Moody’s No Scam App on Apple or Android devices, visiting MyFloridaLegal.com or by calling (866) 966-7226. Record the business location and name, take photos, and collect information such as estimates, bills, advertisements, price tags, and receipts.
SCAMS & FRAUD
Every natural disaster and emergency provides an opportunity for unscrupulous individuals to try to take advantage of those affected and in distress. Common scams that occur after a hurricane event include:
- Repair scams
- Tree service scams
- Water testing and treatment scams
- Disaster relief scams
- Charity-related scams
- Insurance scams
To avoid falling victim to these fraudulent ploys:
- Be wary of anyone who approaches unsolicited and offers to work at a discount.
- Verify contractor's licenses at MyFloridaLicense.com.
- Ask for proof of identification if someone arrives claiming to be a utility provider representative needing to inspect a water line or well.
- Get at least three written, itemized estimates for repairs.
- Do not sign any blank or incomplete paperwork.
- Donate to charities you know and trust with a proven track record of dealing with disasters. Be alert for charities that seem to have sprung up overnight in connection with current events.
If you suspect you have encountered any disaster-related scams, report it to Florida Attorney General Moody’s No Scam App on Apple or Android devices, visit MyFloridaLegal.com or call (866) 966-7226.
Last Updated: October 2, 2022 8:32am