Weather closings and delays

Buyers beware: Price gouging law in effect with Hurricane Florence state of emergency

RALEIGH, N.C. -- As Hurricane Florence draws closer to the North Carolina coast, people are flocking to grocery stores and gas stations to get ready.

As residents clear shelves, the state is working to protecting buyers from potential price gouging.

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein reminded the public that it is illegal to take advantage of buyers by hiking prices during a state of emergency.

The price gauging law went into effect statewide when Governor Roy Cooper declared the state of emergency on Sunday.

“My office is here to protect North Carolinians from scams and frauds,” Stein said in a news release. “That is true all the time – but especially during severe weather. It is against the law to charge an excessive price during a state of emergency. If you see a business taking advantage of this storm, either before or after it hits, please let my office know so we can hold them accountable.”

The attorney general and North Carolina Department of Justice plans to take action against price gouging businesses after closely review complaints over the next several weeks.

The NCDOJ asks the public to report potential price gouging by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or by filing a complaint at www.ncdoj.gov.