Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall is warning against price gouging ahead of Hurricane Sally’s arrival.
“Alabamians should be on-guard to possible price gouging and home repair fraud during and after Hurricane Sally’s passage through our state,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.
The state’s price gouging law goes into effect when the governor declares a State of Emergency, and it prohibits the "unconscionable pricing" of items for sale or rent, the statement said.
Gov. Kay Ivey declared a State of Emergency for Alabama, effective at 3 p.m. on Sept. 14.
As of Tuesday afternoon, hurricane warnings are in effect for both Mobile and Baldwin counties. Landfall is expected late Tuesday or early Wednesday near the Alabama-Mississippi stateline.
“Although what constitutes an unconscionable price is not specifically set forth in state law, a price that is 25 percent or more above the average price charged in the same area within the last 30 days—unless the increase can be attributed to a reasonable cost—is a prima facie case of unconscionable pricing," Marshall’s statement said.
There’s a penalty of up to $1,000 per violation, and people determined to have “willfully and continuously violated this law may be prohibited from doing business in Alabama.”
You can report concerns of fraud or illegal price gouging here.