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Florida Consumers Get Price-Gouging Refunds

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody
Steve Cannon
Associated Press
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody

Floridians have received more than $240,000 in refunds from businesses because of inflated prices during the COVID-19 pandemic, Attorney General Ashley Moody said Tuesday. 

Florida’s price-gouging hotline has received 3,350 contacts from consumers about potential price gouging. 

Moody activated the hotline March 10 after Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency because of the spread of the deadly respiratory disease. 

Items covered by Florida’s price-gouging law under the state of emergency include protective masks, sanitizing and disinfecting supplies, commercial cleaning supplies, personal protective equipment and COVID-19 test kits. 

“We are responding in real time to complaints of price gouging and scams, making sure we are getting price adjustments, taking posts down, getting refunds for Floridians,” Moody said. “We are also making sure we are furthering those investigations by issuing preservation letters and subpoenas. So, that work will continue.” 

More than 4,500 merchants have been contacted about price-gouging allegations. Also, 185 online posts have been taken because items were listed with large price hikes. 

People who violate the price-gouging law can face civil penalties up to $1,000 per violation and up to $25,000 for multiple violations committed in a 24-hour period.