South Carolina’s price gouging law in effect
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced Tuesday that the state’s law against price gouging is now in effect.
The price gouging law (SC §39-5-145) is a general prohibition of unconscionable prices during times of disaster.
The announcement came after Gov. Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Idalia on Tuesday.
“With the possibility that Hurricane Idalia could hit South Carolina after making landfall in Florida, we all need to be prepared. We can expect normal price increases, and those are not considered price gouging under our law. 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,” Wilson said.
Officials said price gougers can be charged for excessive pricing, a misdemeanor offense punishable by a $1,000 fine and/or 30 days in jail.
If you feel like you have been a victim of price gouging here the governor’s office suggests the following steps you can take:
- Note the time, place, address, and name of the gas station or business.
- Note the price you paid.
- Note any prices nearby and get the same information on those stations or businesses.
- Take pictures that identify the business, along with the price.
- Provide your name and contact information.
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