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AG Steve Marshall: ‘Alabamians should be on-guard to possible price gouging’ with hurricane approaching

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall announced that the state’s price gouging law is in effect as Hurricane Sally continues to approach the Gulf Coast.

The law goes into effect when the governor declares a State of Emergency and it prohibits the “unconscionable pricing” of items for sale or rent. Governor Kay Ivey declared a State of Emergency effective Monday at 3:00 p.m. CT.

What constitutes an unconscionable price is not specifically set forth in state law. However, Marshall’s office advised that a price that is 25% 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.

The penalty is a fine of up to $1,000 per violation, and those determined to have willfully and continuously violated this law may be prohibited from doing business in the Yellowhammer State.

“Alabamians should be on-guard to possible price gouging and home repair fraud during and after Hurricane Sally’s passage through our state,” stated Marshall.

Consumers and officials can report concerns of alleged fraud or illegal price gouging to the attorney general’s Consumer Interest Division by visiting the website here, by calling toll-free 1-800-392-5658 or by writing to: Alabama Attorney General’s Office, 501 Washington Avenue, Montgomery, Alabama, 36130.

RELATED: Emergency disaster declaration granted for Alabama ahead of Hurricane Sally landfall

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn