Price-gouging laws now in effect after S.C. declares State of Emergency

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The S.C. Attorney General has announced that gasoline price-gouging laws are now in effect in South Carolina after Gov. McMaster's State of Emergency declaration.

“With the possibility that Tropical Storm Florence could make landfall in South Carolina, likely as a hurricane, our people have already started making preparations. We can expect normal price increases, but we may see businesses and individuals looking to unfairly take advantage of the situation through price gouging of food, gasoline, lodging, and other commodities as defined by the statute. By our law, that’s a criminal violation and an unfair trade practice,” said Attorney General Alan Wilson.

The attorney generals office says normally gas price fluctuation are still occurring, and say that is not price-gouging.

However, anyone selling gas at "unconscionable prices" can be charged with excessive proving. The maximum punishment for the misdemeanor is a $1,000 fine and/or 30 days in jail.

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If you think you're a victim of price-gouging, record the time, place, address, and name of the gas station. Also note the price you paid, and the prices at nearby gas stations.

You should also take pictures of the business and of the price you paid. You can then send that information, along with your contact information, to or call (803) 737-3953.