RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – North Carolina’s price-gouging law is now in effect, Attorney General Josh Stein announced, one day after Gov. Roy Cooper (D) declared a State of Emergency with freezing weather on the horizon.
“As families across North Carolina prepare for below-freezing temperatures this weekend, please remember that North Carolina’s price gouging law is in effect,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “Scammers and businesses can’t use this opportunity to unnecessarily raise costs for North Carolinians. If you see price gouging, please report it to my office.”
Gov. Cooper issued the State of Emergency Tuesday evening after experts predicted an arctic blast toward the end of the week.
Also, in North Carolina, the price gouging statute goes into effect when the governor or the legislature declares a state of emergency.
The arctic blast is expected to bring severe weather in the form of thunderstorms, ice, damaging winds, and low temperatures in the teens, Cooper and the CBS 17 Storm Team said.
On Thursday, thunderstorms are possible with damaging winds and the transition to cold temperatures. Those low temperatures will drop as far down as 17 degrees and stay there Friday-Sunday, CBS 17’s Storm Team reports. This brings the true threat of the arctic blast.
“Sometimes, businesses and industries that are heavily affected by the incident that caused the state of emergency have a reasonable need to increase prices in order to resupply, but they should disclose these increases so people can make informed purchasing decisions,” Atty. General Josh Stein said. “Businesses cannot unreasonably raise the price of goods or services to profit from a state of emergency.”
Since 2018, Atty. General Stein has brought 11 lawsuits against 27 defendants under North Carolina’s price gouging statute. He has obtained 14 judgments or settlements totaling $1,080,000 against 25 defendants, including a $274,000 settlement that was the largest price gouging settlement in the department’s history.
The official State of Emergency document can be read here.