media-advisorymedia-advisoryFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                   Oct. 4, 2016

Attorney General Alan Wilson Announces

Price Gouging Statute in Full Effect

(COLUMBIA, SC) – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson today announced that the price gouging statute is in effect upon notice that Governor Haley issued an executive order declaring state of emergency.

“As we prepare for Hurricane Matthew to make landfall in South Carolina, it’s imperative that South Carolinians make necessary preparations and follow safety instructions. Our state is still recovering from the catastrophic damage caused by the floods in 2015, and as we have witnessed before, we will see many neighbors helping each other during this delicate time. However, we may also see some looking to unfairly take advantage of the situation through price gouging of food, gasoline, lodging, water and any other commodities as defined by the statute. Pursuant to state law, price gouging constitutes a criminal violation and an unfair trade practice.

I urge citizens to remain vigilant and notify my office immediately if you believe you have witnessed or are aware of price gouging.  Please email any examples or documentation to; tweet photos or examples tagging @SCPriceGouging; or call 803-737-3953 if you have witnessed a likely violation.”

The price gouging law (SC 39-5-145) is a general prohibition of unconscionable prices during times of disaster. It is in effect for the next 15 days. Price gougers can be charged for excessive pricing, a misdemeanor offense punishable with a $1,000 fine and/or 30 days in jail.

View the price gouging statute here.

View a related 2014 Attorney General’s office opinion on price gouging. 

2016 SCACS Annual Convention Video

Strength in  Numbers

South Carolina stays on the move through more than 3,344 convenience stores – one per every 1,364 people. These stores provide more than 36,000 jobs across the state. The South Carolina Association of Convenience Stores (SCACS) is a trade association representing more than 200 retailer members and 300 supplier members and their business interests in SC. Our 200 retailers make up 2,505 stores in South Carolina and 10,771 total. Founded in 1976, SCACS is a private, not-for-profit association dedicated to unifying, serving, and representing the convenience store industry of South Carolina.