Be aware of price gouging

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The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (SCDCA) is encouraging consumers to be aware of price gouging, as Governor Haley declared a State of Emergency in response to Hurricane Matthew.

Price gouging happens when a business offers a product or service at a much higher price than the average price of the product or service in the 30 days prior to the State of Emergency. Price gouging only happens when either (1) the Governor, (2) the Attorney General or (3) the President has declared a State of Emergency.

Consumers who believe they are victims of price gouging are encouraged to keep documentation of the good or service purchased and report it to the police. For more details on how to avoid price gouging, visit our website, www.consumer.sc.gov and click on News Releases and Publications, then click SCDCA Spotlights.

For more information on the State of Emergency, view Governor Haley’s Executive Order in its entirety.

The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs aims to protect consumers from inequities in the marketplace through advocacy, complaint mediation, enforcement and education. To file a complaint or get information on consumer issues, visit www.consumer.sc.gov or call toll-free, 1-800-922-1594.