SACRAMENTO - A consumer alert was issued by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra Friday in the wake of the recent evacuations for the “Carr” and “Cranston” fires burning in the state.
The alert comes after Gov. Jerry Brown issued a state of emergency in Riverside, Shasta and San Bernardino Counties, where there are active fires that have forced residents to flee their homes.
Becerra reminded the public that price gouging, which is when a seller spikes the prices of goods, services or commodities to much higher level, is illegal in California.
“Families in Riverside and Shasta Counties are dealing with serious, devastating wildfires in their communities while families in San Bernardino County are grappling with the significant damage caused by monsoon rainstorms. They should not have to worry about unscrupulous businesses trying to illegally cheat them out of fair prices,” said Attorney General Becerra.
If people believe they are victims of price gouging, they are encouraged to file a complaint through the Attorney General’s office website or to call (800)-952-5225.
California law prohibits charging a price that exceeds by more than 10 percent, according to Becerra.
Violators can face up to $10,000 in punishment for price gouging.