HUNTSVILLE, Ala. —
The quick spread of COVID-19 has caused some store shoppers to be met with empty shelves--- and some people are taking full advantage of that.
“Price Gouging” is on the rise.
People are buying up excessive amounts of products with the intention to re-sell them at higher prices as the demand grows.
Amazon just announced that they’ve kicked almost 4,000 sellers off their platform for doing this. U.S. attorneys say this crime is no joke.
U.S. Attorney, Jay Town, of the Northern District of Alabama tells our reporter, “Those individuals who are doing that, they can be sure that they’ll be getting a knock on their door very soon from federal or state agents. We have more eyes than ever before.”
For more information on what you should do if you come across price gouging and how to report it, head to rocket city now dot com.
Consumers are urged to report price gouging at BBB.org/AdTruth.
Alabama citizens who want to file an illegal price gouging report are encouraged to use the Alabama Attorney General's Consumer Interest Division web page. Click here to file a Consumer Complaint form.
You can also call 1-800-392-5658 to receive a form by mail to complete and return.
Here's a look at Alabama's Price Gouging law in cases of disaster according to AlabamaRetail.org:
"In case of a disaster in Alabama, the governor can make an emergency declaration and invoke Alabama’s price gouging law.
ALABAMA’S PRICE GOUGING LAW: Makes it unlawful for anyone to raise prices on commodities or lodging by more than 25 percent during the declared state of emergency. To avoid violating Alabama’s price gouging law, figure the price charged for each of the previous 30 days. Add the 30 daily prices, divide by 30, and multiply the price by .25, or 25 percent, to figure the maximum price increase allowed for any one day. The exception is if a wholesale price increases by more than 25 percent and merchants have no choice but to pass along the price increase.
The fine for violating Alabama’s price gouging law can be up to $1,000 per incident. Those who willfully and continually violate the law can be banned from doing business in Alabama."