Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul is warning businesses and stores to maintain fair prices amid the coronavirus outbreak after dozens of price gouging reports.
Raoul’s office will take action to stop unfair pricing on items that are “crucial to stopping the spread of the coronavirus outbreak,” according to a statement released on Tuesday.
The office has received more than 100 complaints over the last few days from people. The complaints involve products such as hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, face masks and disinfectant sprays.
“Attorney General Raoul is directing businesses to maintain fair pricing, particularly on items public health agencies are recommending people use to prevent the spread of coronavirus,” the statement said.
The Attorney General’s office is collaborating with state’s attorneys throughout Illinois to combat the issue. Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker issued an executive order on Monday that prohibits price gouging and gives the Attorney General enforcement authority.
Raoul’s office said they are currently prioritizing enforcement action for price gouging on essential medical supplies, such as protective gear, and other items identified in the governor’s executive order.
“Now more than ever, it is crucial to put people before profits, and I will not hesitate to use my office’s authority to take decisive action against those that deliberately raise the prices of items that are crucial to stopping the spread of the coronavirus,” Raoul said.
“I am committed to collaborating with partners in law enforcement and retail to ensure that businesses do not seize upon this crisis to make money,” Raoul said.
The Attorney General’s office is responsible for enforcing the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, which provides consumer protections against fraudulent and deceptive business practices.
The Attorney General’s office is also monitoring products on websites including Amazon, eBay and Facebook, and contacting companies regarding ads or offers that may be problematic.
Those wanting to file a complaint about unfair pricing can do so by submitting an online complaint at ccformsubmission.ilattorneygeneral.net.