How to identify and report price gouging

Absurd prices for products should not be a concern when a crisis strikes. Here's how to identify price gouging and put a stop to it.

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PIRG EdFund | TPIN

Whether it’s a hurricane or other storm, a shortage of infant formula or a pandemic, consumers often find unfair price gouging on products they need such as bottled water, chain saws or food their children need.

How do I spot price gouging?

  • Extraordinarily high prices
    Businesses are allowed to increase prices but they are NOT allowed to raise the price of products excessively to take advantage of a current crisis. While laws vary by state, increases exceeding 20% may be considered price gouging.
  • Price comparison between similar products: Some state laws prohibit significant increases in prices as compared to other products. For instance, if bottled water or building supplies are priced at double the cost of similar products, that may violate price gouging laws.
  • Err on the side of caution: If you aren’t sure whether a product is priced too high, it’s better to report problematic items to the company and your attorney general.

What do I need to report price gouging?

You should report any potential price gouging to your state Attorney General. You will generally need:

  1. The name of the store/vendor where you saw the item and their address.
  2. Product details, including, but not limited to, the product type, brand, size, and price.
  3. The date, time, and location you saw the product.
  4. You can improve the investigation by providing a picture of the item.

How can I report price gouging?

You should report price gouging to the company and your Attorney General. Contact information for each state’s Attorney General is listed below.

Alabama 

Online and by phone

Online Report Form: https://www.alabamaag.gov/consumercomplaint

Phone Number: 334-242-7335

Alaska

Online and by phone

Arizona

Online, by phone or email

Online Report Form: https://consumer-complaint.azag.gov/publiccomplaint/begin.aspx

Phone Number: (602) 542-5763

E-mail: [email protected]

Arkansas

Online, by phone and email

Online Report Form: https://arkansasag.gov/covid19/report/

Phone Number: (501) 682-2007

E-mail: [email protected]

California

Colorado

Online and by phone

Online Report Form: https://coag.gov/file-complaint/report-consumer-fraud/

Phone Number: 720-508-6000

Connecticut

Online, by phone and email

Online Report Form: https://www.dir.ct.gov/ag/complaint/

Phone Number: 860-808-5420

E-mail: [email protected]

Delaware 

Online, by phone and email

Online Report Form: https://attorneygeneral.delaware.gov/fraud/cpu/complaint/

Phone Number: (302) 577-8600

E-mail: [email protected]

Florida

Online and by phone

Online Report Form: http://www.myfloridalegal.com/Contact.nsf/PriceGouging!OpenForm

Phone Number: (866) 9NO-SCAM

Georgia

Online and by phone

Online Report Form: http://ocp.ga.gov/form/consumer-complaint/step1

Phone Number: (404) 651-8600

Hawaii

Online, by phone and email

Idaho

Illinois

Online and by phone

Online Report Form: https://ccformsubmission.ilattorneygeneral.net/

Phone Number: 1-800-386-5438 (Chicago)

1-800-243-0618 (Springfield)

1-800-243-0607 (Carbondale)

Línea Gratuita en Español: 1-866-310-8398

Indiana

Online and by phone

Online Report Form: https://indianaattorneygeneral.secure.force.com/ConsumerComplaintForm

Phone Number: 317.232.6330

Iowa

Online, by phone and email

Kansas

Online and by phone

Online Report Form: https://ag.ks.gov/complaint-center/consumer

Phone Number: (785) 296-3751

Kentucky

Online and by phone

Louisiana

Online and by phone

Online Report Form: http://www.ag.state.la.us/Form/Consumer/Dispute

Phone Number: 225-326-6465

Maine

Online, by phone and email

Online Report Form: https://www.maine.gov/ag/consumer/complaints/complaint_form.shtml

Phone Number: (207) 626-8849

E-mail: [email protected]

Maryland

Online, by phone and email

Massachusetts

Online, by phone and email

Online Report Form: https://www.mass.gov/how-to/file-a-consumer-complaint

Phone Number: (617) 727-8400

E-mail: [email protected]

Michigan

Online, by phone and email

Online Report Form: https://secure.ag.state.mi.us/complaints/consumer.aspx

Phone Number: 517-335-7622

E-mail: [email protected]

Minnesota

Online and by phone

Online Report Form: https://www.ag.state.mn.us/Office/Forms/ConsumerAssistanceRequest.asp

Phone Number: (651) 296-3353

Mississippi

By phone

Phone Number: 601-359-3680

Missouri

Online, by phone and email

Online Report Form: http://ago.mo.gov/app/consumercomplaint

Phone Number: 800-392-8222

E-mail: [email protected]

Montana

Online, by phone and email

Online Report Form: https://app.doj.mt.gov/apps/oscar/complaintstart.aspx

Phone Number: 406-444-4500

E-mail: [email protected]

Nebraska

Online, by phone and email

Online Report Form: https://protectthegoodlife.nebraska.gov/file-consumer-complaint

Phone Number: (800) 727-6432

E-mail: [email protected]

Nevada

Online and by phone

Online Report Form: http://ag.nv.gov/Complaints/File_Complaint/

Phone Number: (775) 684-1100

New Hampshire

Online, by phone and email

Online Report Form (requires registration): https://www.doj.nh.gov/consumer/complaints/index.htm

Phone Number: 603-271-3641

E-mail: [email protected]

New Jersey

Online, by phone and email

Online Report Form: https://njconsumeraffairs.state.nj.us/file-a-complaint/

Phone Number: 973.504.6200

E-mail: [email protected]

New Mexico

Online and by phone

Online Report Form: https://secure.nmag.gov/ecs

Phone Number: (505) 490-4060:

New York

Online and by phone

Online Report Form: https://ag.ny.gov/price-gouging-complaint-form

Phone Number: 1-800-771-7755

North Carolina

Online and by phone

Online Report Form: https://ncdoj.gov/file-a-complaint/consumer-complaint/

Phone Number: (877)-5NO-SCAM

North Dakota

Online, by phone and email

Ohio

Online and by phone

Oklahoma

By phone and email

Phone Number: (405) 521-2029

E-mail: [email protected]

Oregon

Online and by phone

Pennsylvania 

Online and by phone

Online Report Form: https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/submit-a-complaint/

Phone Number: 717-787-3391

Rhode Island

Online, by phone and email

Online Report Form: https://riag.wufoo.com/forms/q1851amb1bdd4d5/

Phone Number: (401) 274-4400

E-mail: [email protected]

South Carolina

Online, by phone and email

Online Report Form (requires registration): https://applications.sc.gov/DCAComplaintSystem/Login/ConsumerLogin.aspx

Phone Number: 803-737-3953

E-mail: [email protected]

 

South Dakota

Online, by phone and email

Online Report Form: https://atg.sd.gov/complaintform.aspx

Phone Number: (605) 773-4400

E-mail: [email protected]

Tennessee 

Online and by phone

Online Report Form (requires registration): https://www.tn.gov/attorneygeneral/working-for-tennessee/consumer/file-a-complaint.html

Phone Number: (615) 741-4737

Texas

Online and by phone

Online Report Form: http://txoag.force.com/CPDOnlineForm

Phone Number: (800) 621-0508

Utah

Online, by phone and email

Online Report Form: https://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/contact/complaint-form/

Phone Number: 1-801-366-0260

E-mail: [email protected]

 

Vermont

Online, by phone and email

Virginia 

Online and by phone

Washington

Online and by phone

Online Report Form: https://fortress.wa.gov/atg/formhandler/ago/ComplaintForm.aspx

Phone Number: 1-206-464-6684

West Virginia 

Online, by phone and email

Online Report Form: https://ago.wv.gov/Pages/consumercomplaint.aspx

Phone Number: 304-558-8986

E-mail: [email protected]

Wisconsin

Online, by phone and email

Online Report Form: https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Programs_Services/FileConsumerComplaint.aspx

Phone Number: (800) 422-7128

E-mail: [email protected]

Wyoming

Online, by phone and email

Online Report Form: http://ag.wyo.gov/cpu/consumer-complaints

Phone Number: 307-777-6397

E-mail: [email protected]

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Authors

Teresa Murray

Consumer Watchdog, U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Teresa directs the Consumer Watchdog office, which looks out for consumers’ health, safety and financial security. Previously, she worked as a journalist covering consumer issues and personal finance for two decades for Ohio’s largest daily newspaper. She received dozens of state and national journalism awards, including Best Columnist in Ohio, a National Headliner Award for coverage of the 2008-09 financial crisis, and a journalism public service award for exposing improper billing practices by Verizon that affected 15 million customers nationwide. Teresa and her husband live in Greater Cleveland and have two sons. She enjoys biking, house projects and music, and serves on her church missions team and stewardship board.

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