GREENSBORO, N.C. — Price gouging is defined by Legal Dictionary as:  raising prices to an unfair level, especially during an emergency.

An example is when you go to a gas station during an evacuation. And instead of your normal price, the gas costs two to three times the normal amount.

The rules vary state to state but in North Carolina, they *only* apply to things needed in an emergency and help sustain life, health or safety. So, a cup of coffee jacked up three times the price would not be included, but water would be.

“Unfortunately there are always a few out there who try to take advantage of a situation to make an extra buck,” says NC Attorney General Josh Stein. “That's not right and in North Carolina, that's not legal. My office at the attorney general's office will hold those folks accountable.”

A Lexington man was ordered to pay $20,000 in fines for price gouging customers for tree removal after Hurricane Florence.


So, what do you do if you think you've been gouged? You report it the  Attorney General.

  • Toll-free within North Carolina: 1-877-5-NO-SCAM

You can call them or submit a form online. To help prove your case, keep your receipts, estimates. You'll need to know the business location and the day and time of the purchase.