Hurricane

Price-gouging law now in effect. Here is what to do if you see it in Beaufort Co.

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Editor’s note: In a press conference Tuesday morning, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster lifted the mandatory evacuation for Beaufort, Jasper and Colleton counties. To read more, click here.

Anyone looking to make a quick buck by gouging prices in Beaufort County ahead of Hurricane Florence could see a higher than normal punishment, according to a news release from the S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson.

Wilson put the state’s “price-gouging” law into effect Saturday, hours after Gov. Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency for South Carolina.

The law will remain in effect until the state of emergency expires or is terminated, the release says.

Anyone charged with excessive pricing during the state of emergency can be charged with a misdemeanor offense punishable with a $1,000 fine and/or 30 days in jail, the release says.

Normal fluctuations in prices can be expected and are not punishable.

If you feel someone is price gouging in Beaufort County, take the following steps:

  1. Note the time, place, address and name of the gas station or business.
  2. Note the price you paid.
  3. Note any prices nearby and get the same information on those stations or businesses.
  4. Take pictures that identify the business, along with the price.
  5. Provide your name and contact information.

Email any examples or documentation to pricegouging@scag.gov or call 803-737-3953.

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