x
Breaking News
More () »

Price-gouging law now in effect in South Carolina

Because we're in a state of emergency due to Hurricane Dorian, the rules are now in effect.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina's price-gouging law is now in effect due to the threat of Hurricane Dorian. 

STAY UP TO DATE: Download the WLTX app: Android | iPhone and sign up for the WLTX Daily Dive Newsletter.

The rules were automatically triggered Saturday when South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster issued a state of emergency. While normal, small price increases are still fine, the law is looking for people who are taking advantage of the situation with significant increases in goods. 

RELATED: Mandatory evacuations ordered for entire South Carolina coastline, lane reversals for I-26

The price gouging law (SC §39-5-145) is a general prohibition of 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.

RELATED: Hurricane Dorian's latest forecast track discussion

If you feel like you are the victim of price gouging there are certain steps that you can take to help our office investigate. 

To submit a price gouging report, visit scag.gov then do the following:

1. Note the time, place, address, and name of the gas station

2. Note the price you paid

3. Note any prices nearby and get the same information on those stations

4. Take pictures that identify the station, along with the price

5. Provide your name and contact information

The office will need that information in order to conduct a thorough investigation. Please email any examples or documentation to pricegouging@scag.gov or call 803-737-3953 and leave a message if you have witnessed a likely violation.

STAY UP TO DATE: Download the WLTX app: Android | iPhone and sign up for the WLTX Daily Dive Newsletter.