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North Carolina’s Price Gouging Law in Effect as Henderson County Faces Wildfires

For Immediate Release:
Monday, November 6, 2023

Contact:
Nazneen Ahmed (919) 716-0060

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today announced that North Carolina’s price gouging law is in effect in Henderson County after the county declared a state of emergency on November 5, 2023, related to the recent wildfires in western North Carolina. Please report potential price gouging by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or by filing a complaint at https://ncdoj.gov/pricegouging.

“I am thinking of our western North Carolina communities as they face devastating wildfires and appreciate our first responders for all they are doing to control the situation,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “During this time, if you see price gouging, please report it to my office so we can ensure that people aren’t paying too much for the items they need to recover.”

In North Carolina, the price gouging statute goes into effect when the Governor, the legislature, a county, or a municipality declare a state of emergency. Sometimes, businesses and industries that are heavily affected by the incident that caused the state of emergency have a reasonable need to increase prices in order to resupply, but they should disclose these increases so people can make informed purchasing decisions. Businesses cannot unreasonably raise the price of goods or services to profit from an emergency.

The Department of Justice has enforced North Carolina’s price gouging law in the past and is prepared to take action against any person or business engaging in price gouging.

Since 2018, Attorney General Stein has brought 11 lawsuits against 27 defendants under North Carolina’s price gouging statute. He has obtained 14 judgments or settlements totaling $1,080,000 against 25 defendants, including a $274,000 settlement that was the largest price gouging settlement in the department’s history.

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