South Carolina’s Price Gouging Law Now in Effect

September 10, 2018, 9:11 am EST | Share:

CHARLESTON, SC (WTAT-TV) — As you work to prepare your family and home for any possible impacts from Hurricane Florence, there are some things to watch out for, like price gouging.

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced on Saturday the law would go into effect along with Gov. McMaster’s State of Emergency declaration.

Wilson says citizens can expect normal price increases, but to be aware of businesses and individuals looking to unfairly take advantage of the emergency situation.

That law, under SC §39-5-145, is in effect until the state of emergency expires or is terminated.

It should be known businesses or individuals are not allowed to unfairly increase their prices on a wide range of items like food, gasoline, lodging or storm related-equipment like generators.

The offense is punishable with a $1,000 fine and/or 30 days in jail.

Again, Wilson says normal fluctuations in price are to be expected and are not price gouging, but if you feel like you are the victim of price gouging there are certain steps that you can take:

1. Note the time, address and the name of that business.
2. Note the price that you paid.
3. Note any prices nearby and get the same information as listed above.
4. Take pictures that identify the business, along with the price

You can email your examples to pricegouging@scag.gov or call 803-737-3953.