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
Headshot2

The Benefits of Creating Business Relationships with Colleges

Dani Somers - North Carolina Wesleyan
20180514 104209 51418120638

'I Hate...'

Steve Adams - School of Learning Arts
Mike stonestreet 300x300

Leasing in a Community Association

Mike Stonestreet - CAMS (Community Association Management Services)

Trending News

Mixed-use Project On Oleander Drive Moves Forward

Johanna Cano - Mar 21, 2019

Proposal Revamps Wrightsville Ave. Shopping Center, Adds Apartment Amenities

Cece Nunn - Mar 22, 2019

Friends School Of Wilmington To Break Ground On Building Project

Cece Nunn - Mar 22, 2019

Economic Development Event Aims To Help Local Businesses Go Global

Jenny Callison - Mar 22, 2019

Report Shows Mixed Results For Area Counties In Improving Health

Jenny Callison - Mar 22, 2019

In The Current Issue

Museum Hosts Event With STEM Partner Focus

The March 21 event will celebrate STEM partnerships in the Wilmington area and feature hands-on Science Salon experiences, a specialty cockt...


Demand For Apartments Spreads

Leland is growing so fast, it needs more housing ASAP. In fact, some incentives were granted recently to a developer planning to build more...


Storm Repairs Boost Battleship

The more than 35-year-old visitors center, which greets thousands annually before they board the memorial warship, is getting a major makeov...

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

Transporting the Future - Power Breakfast 3.12.2019
Health Care Heroes 2018
2018 WilmingtonBiz Expo - Keynote Lunch with Eric Dinenberg, Rouse Properties