COVID-19 price gouging

AMAZON SHUTS DOWN ACCOUNTS OVER PRICE-GOUGING, BUT HOW DO YOU FILE A COMPLAINT?

By Miriam Raftery
 
March 30, 2020 (San Diego) – Earlier this month, Amazon.com announced that it had pulled over a million products off its online site for price gouging during the pandemic and/or false advertising regarding effectiveness of products against the COVID-19 virus. Now the company has suspended over 4,000 vendors for price gouging, CNN reports.

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SHERIFFF BUSTS PRICE-GOUGING HOARDERS

Sheriff also warns consumers about virus-related scams

By Miriam Raftery

March 18, 2020 (San Diego)—The San Diego Sheriff's department has arrested eight local people for selling hoarded toilet paper, cleaning supplies, hygiene products and protective equipment at price-gouging rates. The suspects, who posted the items for sale online, could be fined up to $10,000 and imprisoned.

It is illegal to price gouge during an emergency. After the state emergency declaration due to COVID-19, when consumers found store shelves emptied of much-needed supplies, deputies began checking out online websites. They found local residents offering items at up to 20 times higher than normal. 

Plain-clothes deputies from the Fallbrook station arranged to meet and buy the excessively priced goods, then arrested the suspects including individuals from unicorporated El Cajon, Escondido, Poway, San Diego, San Marcos, Rainbow, and Vista.

The eight people arrested, who were cited and released pending trial, are:


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY WARNS BUSINESSES, CONSUMERS OF PRICE GOUGING LAW IN WAKE OF CORONAVIRUS

 

Spiking Prices During a State of an Emergency is a Crime

East County News Service

Photo: Cc by ND via Bing

March 10, 2020 (San Diego) – After California and San Diego County each declared a state of emergency over the COVID-19 virus, The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office has issued a warning to businesses and scammers not to take advantage of consumers by price gouging.

During a declared state of emergency, it is illegal for a business to increase its prices for essential goods or services by more than 10 percent, unless they can show their own costs have been increased. "The statute would theoretically apply to online retailers as well as brick and mortar—as well as individuals who might be selling on an app like Offer Up,"  says Steve Walker, communications specialist at the District Attorney's office.

Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in California on March 4 and the San Diego County Board of Supervisors extended its countywide state of emergency for an additional 30 days on February 19.

“We want county residents to know that we stand ready to protect their consumer rights under the law,” District Attorney Summer Stephan said. “We will strictly enforce violations related to price gouging.”


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.