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
Fredheadshot 5119113348

Commercial Window Coverings and How They Help the Community

Fred Kumpel - Strickland's Home
20180514 104209 51418120638

'I Hate...'

Steve Adams - School of Learning Arts
Img 0801

The 3 Most Important Questions Before You Retire

Brett Tushingham - Tushingham Wealth Strategies

Trending News

Entrepreneur Richard Johnson's Latest Project Aims To Boost Burgaw

Johanna Cano - Jun 14, 2019

Nearly Done With The Pearl, Developer Plans 32 More Downtown Apartments

Cece Nunn - Jun 14, 2019

Plastics Molding Manufacturer Gets Its Start In Wilmington

Christina Haley O'Neal - Jun 14, 2019

New Hanover Regional Grows To A $1.2B Operation

Vicky Janowski - Jun 14, 2019

Field Of Vision

Jenny Callison - Jun 14, 2019

In The Current Issue

Novant Health Orthopedics & Spine Opens In Supply

Novant Health has opened an orthopedics and spine office in Supply, providing degenerative spine condition services, orthopedic spine surger...


WilmingtonBiz Magazine's Health Issue Is Out

The Greater Wilmington Business Journal's latest edition of the WilmingtonBiz Magazine is out. The issue takes an in-depth look at the area'...


Building Efforts To Attract Workers

With demand running high for construction industry workers, officials with area training programs and companies are looking for ways to attr...

Book On Business

The 2019 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2019 WilmingtonBiz Expo Keynote Lunch - CEO, nCino, Pierre Naude`
Transporting the Future - Power Breakfast 3.12.2019
Health Care Heroes 2018