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AG Shapiro Creates Consumer Tool to Combat Coronavirus Price Gouging

Tuesday March 17th, 2020

On March 6, 2020, Attorney General Shapiro alerted Pennsylvania consumers and businesses about price gouging protections under Governor Wolf’s COVID-19 disaster declaration for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In addition, the Office of Attorney General has created a specialized resource (pricegouging@attorneygeneral.gov) for consumers to email and report malfeasance.


“As Pennsylvania continues to manage the spread of the coronavirus, merchants should be put on notice: you cannot use a public health emergency as a business opportunity,” said Attorney General Shapiro. “For consumers, just know: if you see the price of basic goods skyrocket ― reach out to my Office. Let us know. Our agency is here to protect you from being taken advantage of.”

Governor Wolf’s declaration triggered protections under state law against price gouging for consumers and businesses. Under rules governing a disaster emergency, companies and vendors are prohibited from charging a price for consumer goods or services that exceeds 20 percent of the average price to which those goods or services were sold for in the 7 days preceding the date of declaration.

The Office of Attorney General’s new tool is available to everyone in the Commonwealth, effective immediately. Any instance of price gouging should be reported to pricegouging@attorneygeneral.gov.