DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — With gas so high in demand, the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office is warning gas stations not to price gouge.
As of Thursday, Attorney General Josh Stein said his office had received 622 complaints of gas price gouging as drivers all over the state are scrambling to find fuel.
“We’re going to investigate each one,” Stein said.
But Stein said a lot of the price gouging complaints they are receiving are the result of drivers misunderstanding signs at gas stations that say, “$9.99.” He said the drivers think that that’s the price of gas at the station when it’s not.
“What the sellers are trying to do is signal to people, ‘Don’t stop, I’m out of gas,'” Stein said. “If that’s the situation, it’s not price gouging.”
Thousands of drivers were scrambling to find fuel Thursday morning in Durham.
According to GasBuddy.com, only 12 gas stations out of more than 100 in the city had gas.
Robbie Aiken is a UPS driver who spent several hours out of his workday looking for fuel in Durham on Thursday.
“This morning I was in line, I waited for about an hour. I was the sixth one from the pump, and then they ran out of gas,” Aiken said.
Aiken then went to another gas station and waited in another long line for gas. He said this has put him back several hours in making deliveries.
“I’ve got packages I need to get delivered,” Aiken said. “I’ve just got to get gas in the truck to do the job.”
While Aiken is losing time searching for gas, he and other drivers are also concerned about losing money if gas stations start to price gouge. At some gas stations in Durham, the price has stayed below $3 a gallon, but others are inching closer to $4.
Stein is asking drivers to report potential price gouging to his office.
To make a report, call 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or file a complaint online.