According to the North Carolina Department of Justice, the Attorney General’s Office has received information regarding possible price gouging on at-home COVID-19 tests. Attorney General Josh Stein is encouraging North Carolinians to report price gouging related to the coronavirus pandemic to the North Carolina Department of Justice.
North Carolina’s price gouging statute, which prohibits charging too much for goods and services during a crisis, is in effect under Executive Order 245 and stays in effect until April 5, 2022. In some cases, businesses and industries that are heavily impacted by a crisis have a reasonable need to increase prices but they should disclose these increases and allow people to make informed purchasing decisions. Businesses and sellers cannot, however, unreasonably raise the price of goods or services to profit during a crisis.
To get verified information about the pandemic, visit the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since 2018, Attorney General Stein has brought 11 lawsuits against 27 defendants under North Carolina’s price gouging statute. He has obtained 10 judgments against 19 defendants, including a $274,000 settlement that was the largest price gouging settlement in the department’s history. DOJ has won more than $995,000 in these judgments and settlements.
Report potential price gouging by filing a complaint at https://ncdoj.gov/gouging or by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM. Filing a complaint with the Attorney General’s office helps alert them to price gouging concerns and provides necessary information to better review them.