WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. — The Gloucester County Board of Chosen Freeholders and Gloucester County Consumer Protection is warning all residents of potential fraud against consumers purchasing products used to stay safe and prevent illness during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Freeholder Director Robert Damminger said that residents need to be aware that it is against the law for businesses to increase prices by an excessive amount during the State of Emergency which was declared on March 9, 2020.
“An excessive increase is any price that exceeds 10 percent of the price the product or service was sold for during the normal course of business prior to the State of Emergency,” Freeholder Director Damminger said in a statement.
Price gouging violations are punishable by penalties of up to $10,000 for the first offense and increase with additional violations, according to the county. Those who take advantage of consumers during this time of vulnerability may also be required to pay the consumer restitution and legal fees.
“Any resident that experiences price gouging or any solicitation with false claims to cure COVID-19 should notify the NJ Division of Consumers Affairs Office immediately,” Freeholder Liaison Lyman Barnes, said.
The NJ Division of Consumer Affairs Office can be reached at (973) 504-6240.
For more information or answers to questions you may have, please contact the Gloucester County Consumer Protection office at (856) 218-4185 or visit www.gloucestercountynj.gov.