Photo by Monivette Cordeiro
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi activated a price-gouging hotline Monday as Hurricane Irma approaches, according to a press release
from her office.
The launch of the hotline follows a state of emergency declaration
made by Governor Rick Scott for all 67 counties in the state. Florida is expected to be impacted by the now Category 5 hurricane later this week.
Price-gouging, which includes dramatic price increase for essential items, such as water, food and gas, is prohibited by Florida law in a state of emergency.
Citizens can report incidents of price gouging to (866)-9-NO-SCAM.
"Floridians need to prepare now and they should not be inhibited by unlawful price increases on supplies necessary to brace for a major hurricane strike—that is why I’ve activated Florida’s Price-Gouging Hotline," said Attorney General Bondi in a press release
. "By reporting suspected price-gouging you can protect yourself and your fellow Floridians."
Violates of the price-gouging law are subject to a fine of $1,000 per violation and up to $25,000 in damages for multiple violations within a 24-hour period.