Price Gouging Needs to be Reported

Fifty dollars for a 12-pack of toilet paper? North Iowans are being warned to use common sense and to not give in to ridiculous prices for products that are in high demand because of the coronavirus pandemic. Lynn Hicks, communications director for the Iowa Attorney General’s office, says they’re investigating multiple reports of price gouging at north Iowa stores and online retailers.

Area residents are warned to be on-guard when they see offers for a coronavirus cure or treatment — as there are none. Residents are also getting calls from people claiming to be with a public health organization, when they’re just crooks phishing for your personal information. During an emergency like this, Hicks says it’s natural for prices on some hard-to-find items to rise, but not to the point of gouging.

The state attorney general’s office has appealed to one of the world’s largest online retailers over reports from Iowans about items with unreasonable prices.

North Iowans are urged to do research on any organizations or charities claiming to be raising money for victims of the coronavirus by checking with groups like the Better Business Bureau at https://www.give.org. To reach the Iowa Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division, visit www.iowaattorneygeneral.gov or call 888-777-4590.

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