RIVERSIDE – The DA’s Bureau of Investigation has set up a hotline number to report suspected price gouging during the current COVID-19 coronavirus state of emergency.
Anyone who believes a person or business may be price gouging can call the Consumer Protection Price Gouging Hotline at (951) 955-0764.
Reports can also be made in Spanish at that number.
Price gouging is illegal and happens when an unscrupulous person or business tries to take advantage of consumers by raising prices more than 10 percent for essential goods or services during a declared state of emergency. Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency statewide on March 4, 2020.
Essential goods and services include, but are not limited to, such things as food, water, food and water for pets, flashlights, medicine, sanitary products, toiletries, diapers, medical or emergency supplies, and lodging.
Those who price gouge are subject to criminal prosecution that can result in a sentence of up to a year in county jail and/or fines up to $10,000. There also can be civil penalties including a fine of $5,000 per violation, restitution to the victim or victims, and a court order to stop.
More information can also be found in a whiteboard video on our Facebook page by clicking here.
- Stop Price Gouging: Shutterstock