SC attorney general announces price-gouging law is now in effect

UPDATE: South Carolina’s price gouging law will be in effect until the declaration of a state of emergency expires or is terminated. The news release announcing that the law is in effect said it would be in effect for 15 days. The 15-day period applies only when the Attorney General declares an abnormal disruption in the market, not when the Governor declares a state of emergency.COLUMBIA, SC –South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced Wednesday that the state’s law against price gouging is now in effect, after Gov. Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency.


“With the possibility that Hurricane Irma could make landfall in South Carolina, our people have already started making preparations. We can expect normal price increases, but we may see businesses and individuals looking to unfairly take advantage of the situation through price gouging of food, gasoline, lodging, and other commodities as defined by the statute. By our law, that’s a criminal violation and an unfair trade practice,” Attorney General Wilson said.

The price gouging law is a general prohibition of unconscionable prices during times of disaster. It is in effect for the next 15 days. Price gougers can be charged for excessive pricing, a misdemeanor offense punishable with a $1,000 fine and/or 30 days in jail.

If you feel like you are the victim of price gouging there are certain steps that you can take to help the office investigate.

  1. Note the time, place, address, and name of the gas station
  2. Note the price you paid
  3. Note any prices nearby and get the same information on those stations
  4. Take pictures that identify the station, along with the price
  5. Provide your name and contact information

Please email any examples or documentation to pricegouging@scag.gov or call 803-737-3953 and leave a message.

 

Information above is from a submitted press release