Columbia, SC – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson reminded South Carolinians that the price gouging statute is in effect upon notice that Governor Nikki Haley issued a state of emergency.
“As we continue to recover from the catastrophic damage caused to our state, we will see many neighbors helping each other rebuild. However, we may also see some looking to unfairly take advantage of the situation through price gouging of food, gasoline, lodging, water and any other commodities as defined by the statute. Pursuant to state law, price gouging constitutes a criminal violation and an unfair trade practice.
I urge citizens to remain vigilant and notify my office immediately if you believe you have witnessed or are aware of price gouging. Please email any examples or documentation to email@example.com; tweet photos or examples tagging @SCPriceGouging; or call 803-737-3953 if you have witnessed a likely violation.”
The price gouging law (SC 39-5-145) is a general prohibition on unconscionable prices during times of disaster. It is in effect for the next 15 days. Price gougers can be charged for excessive pricing, a misdemeanor offense punishable with a $1,000 fine and/or 30 days in jail.