TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—In the midst of the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season, Attorney General Ashley Moody traveled to Osceola County to highlight the No Scam Price Gouging Reporting App that is available in both English and Spanish. At a news conference hosted by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, Attorney General Moody highlighted the first-of-its-kind app that allows consumers to report allegations of price gouging during a declared state of emergency in real time directly to the Attorney General’s Office. The app allows users to attach pictures and copies of receipts directly from smartphones when reporting suspected price gouging.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “The No Scam app has helped thousands of consumers report outrageous price increases during declared states of emergency, in English and Spanish. As this year’s hurricane season is already underway, I am encouraging all Floridians to download this free app to be ready to help us fight price gouging.”
In June 2019, Attorney General Moody’s office launched the No Scam Price Gouging Reporting App. Since then, the app has been downloaded by more than 21,000 consumers and has assisted consumer protection investigators in the Attorney General’s Office with more than 2,200 reports of suspected price gouging. The app also helps increase awareness about Florida’s price gouging statute.
The app permits users in real time to:Send pictures of prices on signs, online posts and products;
- Capture and report receipts and email confirmations;
- Write narratives of interactions with sellers and prices observed of essential commodities;
- Report prices of identical products offered by different sellers in the same vicinity; and
- Capture any additional supporting documentation.
For tips on how to better report price gouging, read the Attorney General’s Tips for Avoiding Price Gouging and Gathering Gouging Evidence.
Under Florida’s price gouging statute, F.S. 501.160, it is unlawful during a declared state of emergency to sell, lease, offer to sell, or offer for lease essential commodities, dwelling units, or self-storage facilities for an amount that grossly exceeds the average price for that commodity during the 30 days before the declaration of the state of emergency, unless the seller can justify the pricing by showing increased costs or changed market conditions resulting in increased costs.
For more information about price gouging, go to myfloridalegal.com.
The Attorney General’s No Scam Price Gouging Reporting App can be downloaded for free through Apple and Android stores by searching No Scam.
In addition to being used to report price gouging during states of emergency related to hurricanes, No Scam has been continually updated for use during other states of emergency—most notably the health state of emergency declared last year for the COVID-19 pandemic. Consumers were able to report outrageous price increases on essential commodities related to COVID-19 via the app. To learn more, go to myfloridalegal.com.
In May, Attorney General Moody released the 2021 Hurricane Preparedness Guide in advance of this year’s hurricane season. The guide is available in both English and Spanish.