With the 2019 Hurricane Season underway, Attorney General Ashley Moody today launched an app called NO SCAM to help consumers quickly and effectively report price gouging during a declared state of emergency. NO SCAM is an app designed to help consumers report allegations of price gouging in real-time and allow information on possible violations be sent to the Attorney General’s Office immediately. The app allows consumers to attach pictures, copies of receipts and more when reporting suspected price gouging—directly from smart phones.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Price gouging during a declared state of emergency can leave Floridians feeling defenseless and cause a sense of urgency for needed commodities. The stress caused by an approaching storm and its disruptive, and sometimes, devastating aftermath should not be further intensified by price gouging. It is our hope that this new app will assist us in raising awareness about price gouging laws and deter those who might otherwise consider violating the law, while at the same time help our consumer protection investigators get the reports and supporting information they need in real-time, so they can respond immediately to thwart any alleged illegal activity.”
Proving price gouging can be complex, so having direct evidence of pricing information is important to making a case of a violation under the price gouging statute. The NO SCAM app makes it easy to supply this essential information often while you are still at the location where the alleged conduct is occurring.
The app will allow users in real-time to:
- Send pictures of prices on signs and products;
- Capture and report receipts;
- Write narratives of interactions with sellers of a good or commodity;
- Report evidence of prices of identical products by different sellers in the same vicinity; and
- Capture additional supporting documentation.
The Attorney General’s NO SCAM Price Gouging App can be downloaded for free through Apple and Android stores by searching NO SCAM.
For tips on how to better report price gouging, click here.
Under Florida’s price gouging statute, F.S. 501.160, it is unlawful during a declared state of emergency to sell, lease, offer to sell, or offer for lease essential commodities, dwelling units, or self-storage facilities for an amount that grossly exceeds the average price for that commodity during the 30 days before the declaration of the state of emergency, unless the seller can justify the pricing by showing increased costs or changed market conditions resulting in increased costs.
For more information about price gouging, click here.