Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General
Jason S. Miyares
202 North 9th Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
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Attorney General Miyares Announces State Price Gouging Protections in Effect Ahead of Potentially Hazardous Weather From Hurricane Ian
Richmond, VA – As Virginia prepares for strong wind and heavy rainfall due to Hurricane Ian, Attorney General Jason Miyares is announcing today that Governor Glenn Youngkin’s declaration of a state of emergency has triggered Virginia’s anti-price gouging statutes designed to protect consumers from paying exorbitant prices for necessities during an emergency event.
“In addition to making smart decisions and keeping up with news developments during a statewide emergency declaration, Virginians must also support each other during this potentially hazardous time,” said Attorney General Miyares. “Any violations of Virginia’s Anti-Price Gouging Act or exploitation of Virginians’ wallets will be thoroughly prosecuted through the Virginia Consumer Protection Act by my office. Bad actors will be held accountable.”
Enacted in 2004, Virginia’s Anti-Price Gouging Act prohibits a supplier from charging “unconscionable prices” for “necessary goods and services” during the thirty-day period following a declared state of emergency. Items and services covered by these protections include, but are not limited to, water, ice, food, generators, batteries, home repair materials and services, and tree removal services. The basic test for determining if a price is unconscionable is whether the post-disaster price grossly exceeds the price charged for the same or similar goods or services during the ten days immediately prior to the disaster.
Violations of Virginia’s Anti-Price Gouging Act are enforceable by the Office of the Attorney General through the Virginia Consumer Protection Act. Complaints should be reported for investigation to the Office of the Attorney General Consumer Protection Section, with the exception of claims related to gasoline and motor fuel prices, which are handled by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Consumers can contact Attorney General Miyares’ Consumer Protection Section for additional information or to file a complaint:
· By phone: (800)-552-9963
More information can be found at www.oag.state.va.us/consumer-protection/.