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:
Dale Gottschalk (10/27/1966) - unincorporated El Cajon
David Gold (04/21/1966) - Escondido
David Noriani (06/21/1984) – San Diego
Tony Dai Ta (05/08/1966) - Poway
Chasity Lynn Long-Ross (12/12/1974) – San Marcos
Richard McCake Simpson (02/11/1973) – Vista
Spencer Ryan Silva (08/11/1993) – Escondido
Eric Marc Duran (06/20/1961) – Rainbow
“During this pandemic, scammers are trying to take advantage of the misinformation and fear surrounding the public health crisis. Be aware of the COVID-19 scams circulating across the country,” says Lieutenant Arnold Aldana.
Coronavirus cure? Not so fast. There are currently no products known to treat or cure coronavirus Allow beware of door to door scammers offering fake decontamination or coronavirus testing services.
Don’t be conned by scammers urging people to invest in new stocks related to the disease.Also watch out for deceptive online ads and malicious email campaign, such as unsolicited medical advisories with links or attachments, as well as phone calls or emails asking for donations, your social security number, banking information or credit card number
For resources on how to avoid becoming a victim, visit sdsheriff.net/financial. You can report price-gouging to the Sheriff, the District Attorney, or the California Attorney General’s offices.