GREENSBORO, N.C. — Even in the middle of a global pandemic, scammers find a way to try to make money off of you.
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein has a warning for consumers: “Whenever a crisis like this occurs, there are bad people who will try to exploit peoples' fear, their desperation, their uncertainty, to steal money,” he said.
In just the last 3 weeks alone, the state attorney generals office has received about 865 price gouging complaints. Over half of those have been about groceries.
It’s important to understand that there is a difference between an expensive product and a product that falls under the price gouging guidelines. The item must be something necessary like water, gasoline, or hand sanitizer during a pandemic. The seller also needs justification for raising their price. If it costs more to overnight ship the item, the seller can raise the price some. But if the price is raised to an unreasonable amount, that’s price gouging.
So, if you think the product you bought or wanted to buy falls under price gouging guidelines, make a formal complaint online.
- Collect your evidence. You can do this by taking a picture of the price or receipt.
- Get the name of the company, the address of the business, and what product they were selling.
- Once you’ve got all of that, head to the NC Department of Justice's website to fill out the form. You can access it by clicking here.