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How to report price gouging in S.C. during gas shortage

Gas stations are experiencing shortages as people rush to the pumps across Charlotte.
Gas stations are experiencing shortages as people rush to the pumps across Charlotte.(WBTV)
Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 10:50 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) – South Carolina’s attorney general announced on Tuesday that the state’s price gouging statute is in effect due to the gas shortage impacting people throughout the state.

A cyberattack has halted Colonial Pipeline’s operations, which delivers about 45% of the fuel consumed on the East Coast.

The price-gouging law keeps businesses from charging excessive prices during times of a disaster. Price gougers can be charged with a misdemeanor offense and can face a $1,000 fine or 30 days in jail if convicted.

WMBF News reached out to the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office to see how many complaints have been filed. The office said that as of 4 p.m. Tuesday there have been 101 complaints submitted across the state. There were four in Horry County, one in Darlington County, two in Georgetown County and two in Marion County. A spokesperson added that many of them could be duplicates.

So how do you report price gouging?

There are three ways that you can report it:

  1. Email any examples or documentation to pricegouging@scag.gov
  2. Go to the attorney general’s website and fill out a form to report price gouging
  3. Call 803-737-3953 if you have seen a violation

Make sure you have this information in order to help the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office investigate the claims:

  • Note the time, place, address, and name of the business
  • Note the price you paid
  • Note any prices nearby and get the same information on those businesses
  • Take pictures that identify the business, along with the price
  • Provide your name and contact information

Each report is then investigated by the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office.

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