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Report price gouging, says the Utah Department of Commerce

FILE Photo by: John Nacion/STAR MAX/IPx 2020 3/4/20 People wear protective masks to fend off the Coronavirus, while street vendors pedal masks, hand sanitizer and other disinfecting products in Queens, New York.

SALT LAKE CITY — As shelves continue to empty amid COVID-19, the Utah Department of Commerce is encouraging shoppers to report price gouging.

Basic necessities, such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and soap, should not cost a fortune. In fact, it’s illegal to increase the price of products people need.

“During a declared ‘State of Emergency’, Utah law forbids excessive prices on goods and services sold at retail,” stated Chris Parker, Interim Executive Director of the Department of Commerce. “Our Division of Consumer Protection stands ready to investigate complaints and take action against violators.”

Under the “Price Controls During Emergencies Act” (Title 13, Chapter 41), those caught exaggerating the cost of goods will be fined between $1,000-10,000 per day.

“This past weekend, consumers started sending in complaints,” Division Director Daniel O’Bannon indicated. “Price gouging is not how we do things in Utah. We will promptly investigate complaints and take action to protect our citizens.”

If you’ve witnessed price gouging around Utah, please submit a complaint to the Division of Consumer Protection.

You can submit a complaint here.

Lee Lonsberry, host of Live Mic spoke to the Attorney General of Utah, Sean Reyes, about the consequences of price gouging. Jon Huntsman also joined the conversation. Huntsman was Governor when the price gouging bill was signed into law. Listen to what you need to know and how you can combat excessive pricing.

Live Mic with Lee Lonsberry can be heard weekdays from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app.