SC residents urged to be aware of price gouging

FILE - In this July 16, 2015, photo, a customer refuels her car at a Costco in Pittsburgh. U.S. consumer prices rose modestly in October, 2015 as low gasoline costs and a strong dollar have suppressed inflation. The Labor Department says the consumer price index rose 0.2 percent last month after falling in September and August. Gas costs increased 0.4 percent in October but have plunged 27.8 percent over the past 12 months. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs is encouraging consumers to be aware of price gouging, as Governor Haley declared a State of Emergency in response to Hurricane Matthew.

The release from the SCDCA says price gouging happens when a business offers a product or service at a much higher price than the average price of the product or service in the 30 days prior to the State of Emergency. Price gouging only happens when either the Governor, the Attorney General or the President has declared a State of Emergency.

Consumers who believe they are victims of price gouging are encouraged to keep documentation of the good or service purchased and report it to the police. For more details on how to avoid price gouging, visit the SCDCA website, www.consumer.sc.gov and click on News Releases and Publications, then click SCDCA Spotlights.

For more information on the State of Emergency, view Governor Haley’s Executive Order in its entirety.

To file a complaint or get information on consumer issues, visit http://www.consumer.sc.gov or call toll-free, 1-800-922-1594.

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