The Better Business Bureau (BBB) of north Alabama wants you to be aware of potential scams and price gouging in the community as people try to take advantage of the coronavirus pandemic.
"Whenever there are crisis situations like this, unfortunately scammers crop up and try to take advantage of the situation and that is indeed happening nationwide," Elizabeth Garcia, President and CEO of the BBB of North Alabama said.
Garcia says it's tough compare the coronavirus pandemic to anything she's seen before. She said her team already is hearing claims of fake coronavirus cures.
"Other types of silver products, essential oil products, other protocols that they say will either cure or will help treat the coronavirus. There is nothing out there that will do either of those two things right now," Garcia said.
What's being seen more locally are sellers raising the prices of certain products.
"We've been hearing some reports locally of price gouging in the community," Garcia said.
Garcia explains if the prices are adjusted due to economic supply and demand, that's understandable, but if someone decides to increase a price on their own, that's when it becomes illegal. It's something she wants everyone to be aware of.
"We don't want to see someone on the street selling a roll of toilet paper for $20, nor do we want to see stacks in a convenience store going for $1.99 a roll," Garcia said.
The BBB will investigate any complaints it receives.
If you would like to report a potential scam, you can reach the BBB here or call 256-533-1640. If you'd like to report price gouging, contact the Alabama Attorney General’s Consumer Interest Division HERE or by calling 1-800-392-5658.