With the winter weather storm moving through many areas of Alabama, today, Attorney General Luther Strange warns citizens to be on guard against those who might exploit bad weather for illegal profit. With the State of Emergency in effect for every county of Alabama, the state’s price gouging law now is in effect as well throughout the state. Attorney General Strange says, “I urge our citizens to be cautious of those who would prey upon them through crimes such as price gouging and home repair fraud...Furthermore, I warn that anyone who seeks to take advantage of the public will be held accountable.” Price gouging is a price that is 25 percent or more above the average price charged in the same area within the last 30 days--unless the increase can be attributed to a reasonable cost. The penalty for the crime of price gouging is a fine of up to $1,000 per violation, and those determined to have willfully and continuously violated this law may be prohibited from doing business in Alabama.
Consumers and officials can report any problems of alleged fraud or illegal price gouging to the Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Protection by calling toll-free 1-800-392-5658, or through the Attorney General’s website at www.ago.alabama.gov.