Print
More News

Price Gouging Begins In Wake Of Florence; Here's How To Avoid It

By Cece Nunn, posted Sep 19, 2018

As of Wednesday afternoon, the North Carolina Attorney General's office reported that there had already been 650 complaints about price gouging in areas of the state affected by Hurricane Florence.

Price gouging is defined as excessive pricing in the wake of a disaster and emergency declaration, said Ben David, district attorney for New Hanover and Pender counties.

"It will remain in place for 45 days since the Sept. 7 declaration, so we're still in that time period," David said. "Commodities like water and gas, those are easy to set the market for it and see when people are gouging. It's very hard with services, particularly tree removal, repair, things like that, because there's such variability from one person's yard to the next."

David had three recommendations for those who want to avoid gouging:

No. 1: Shop around. "Talk to neighbors who have already hired folks and see who's good and who's not," David said. Don't fall into the trap of thinking one company or another will be the last one available, he said. 

"They're like buses; one leaves, another one will come," David said.

No. 2: Get it in writing. "It will be a lot easier to enforce and it will be legally binding if you get something in writing," he said.

No. 3: Don't pay up front. "A lot of people become victims because they give the money to folks who are from wherever and then they are gone. That's obviously a crime when that happens. That's obtaining property by false pretenses, and that's a felony. My office has been prosecuting these cases for years," David said.

Gouging can result in $500 fines for each individual violation. Obtaining property by false pretenses at a value of over $100,000 results in prison time.

"We have seen in the wake of these storms, and this is not our first rodeo, where people have come in and been predatory with pricing and with their conduct because these storms bring out the best and worst of any community," David said.

Gouging should be reported to the office of N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM by phone or by completing an online form.

Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Danielhughes liveoakprivatewealth october 2

Trustee Tips: Estate Planning Basics

Daniel Hughes - Live Oak Private Wealth
Jasonpathfinder3

Smart Moves In A Volatile Market

Jason Wheeler - Pathfinder Wealth Consulting
Burrus rob headshot 300x300

Creating Customer Delight During The Covid-19 Pandemic

Robert Burrus - Cameron School of Business - UNC-Wilmington

Trending News

End Of Days Distillery Gains New Accolades, Releases New Spirits

Jessica Maurer - Nov 25, 2020

Homebuilder Transforming Former Church Structure Into Office

Cece Nunn - Nov 25, 2020

By Air, By Car And By The Sea: A Look At Thanksgiving Travel Plans

Christina Haley O'Neal - Nov 25, 2020

In The Current Issue

The VR Way To Train

Jenson8, a human resources technology company establishing its U.S. base at the UNCW's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, provides...


2020: A Year Of Health Care Heroes

Because of the pandemic, the Business Journal downsized its an­nual Health Care Heroes Awards to honor the 35 finalists at an outdoor event...


Distant Holidays

It’s beginning to look like, well, no holiday season we’ve ever seen – Santa’s donning a mask, Black Friday is now the whole month of Novemb...

Book On Business

The 2020 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2020 Leadership Accelerator: Virtual Workshops for Real Leaders
2019 Health Care Heroes
August 26, 2019 Power Breakfast: A Healthy Sale?
2019 WilmingtonBiz Expo Keynote Lunch - CEO, nCino, Pierre Naude`