Protect yourself from price gouging

In the wake of a natural disaster, essentials -- such as fuel, food, ice, generators, lanterns, lumber, lodging, etc. -- may be in short supply.Charging exorbitant or excessive prices for these and other necessities following a disaster is not only unethical, it's illegal.

Under sections 501.160 and 501.205 of Florida's statutes, it is illegal to charge unconscionable prices for goods or services following a declared state of emergency. Individuals or businesses found guilty of price gouging could face fines up to $1000 per violation, or up to a maximum of $25000 per day.

Report price gouging by calling the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352), or 1-866-966-7226, or request a price gouging complaint form be sent to you via mail.

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