Hurricane Irma: How to Report Price Gouging and Avoid Scams
Sadly, when a potential natural disaster or hurricane like Irma threatens an area, there
are those who look to take advantage of people when they are the most vulnerable. Thankfully, Florida law has a price-gouging statute that prohibits extememe increases in prices in the rental or sale of essential commodities such as food, ice, water, gasoline, lumber, generators and shelter once a state of emergency has been declared.
Anyone who comes across gross price-gouging or suspects a scam can report it to the Florida Attorney General's Office Price Gouging Hotline for investigation:
IN-FLORIDA: (866) 9NO-SCAM OUT-OF-STATE: (850) 414-3990
Some of the most common storm-related scams to watch out for include tree-removal scams, building repair scams, debris-removal scams, disaster relief scams and water testing and treatment scams. Please:
Proceed with caution if a product claims to be hurricane-proof or impact-proof;
Be wary of any contractor who approaches unsolicited or offers to perform repairs at a discount with leftover supplies from another job; and
Know that numerous charities crop up after natural disasters. Some of these charities are legitimate, while others are run by scam artists looking to profit off of the goodwill of others.
Stay safe everyone!
Source: Florida Office of the Attorney General website. For more information please visit: http://www.myfloridalegal.com/newsrel.nsf/newsreleases/BD037558497776E6852581320045F0B3