State of Emergency triggers anti-price gouging laws in North Carolina

Diane Wilson Image
Tuesday, March 10, 2020
EMBED <>More Videos

If you take advantage of the coronavirus fears, North Carolina Attorney Josh Stein says his office will take action.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein said his office will take action against anyone who takes advantage of COVID-19 fears.

Currently, seven people in North Carolina have tested presumptive positive for the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19. Six of those cases are Wake County residents, including five who attended a Biogen conference in Boston linked to more than two dozen cases.

Tuesday, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper declared a State of Emergency, which triggered the state's anti-price gouging law. The law prohibits vendors from charging too much during a crisis tied to a State of Emergency.

Have a question about coronavirus? Send it to us here.

"There are bad people with bad intentions who try and exploit people to make a buck," Stein said. "If folks are seeing products that they need being offered at outrageous prices file a complaint with my office."

Before the State of Emergency was issued, Stein said his office received a handful of complaints about price gouging. One complaint was about travelers who tried to cancel a trip. Another complaint involved a miracle cure for COVID-19. Monday, the Food and Drug Administration sent warning letters to seven companies offering fraudulent treatments for COVID-19.

RELATED: How to change your travel plans amid the global COVID-19 outbreak

There are no vaccines or drugs approved to treat or prevent the novel coronavirus.

Attorney General Stein and the North Carolina Department of Justice said they will be reviewing price gouging complaints from consumers closely and are prepared to take action against any businesses engaging in price gouging activities.

Please report potential price gouging by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or by filing a complaint here.

CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE:

Apple changes cleaning policy to allow use of Clorox wipes on iPhones amid coronavirus outbreakHow did coronavirus start? And answers to your other COVID-19 questionsCan you catch the coronavirus from cash?CVS to waive delivery fees for prescriptions due to coronavirus outbreak