Price Gouging Consumer Alert

*Placer County District Attorney’s Office Consumer Alert*

Consumer Alert

Pursuant to this state of emergency, price gouging, as defined by Penal Code Section 396, is illegal. Specifically, it is a crime to charge a price for essential goods and services more than 10% higher than the price charged immediately before an emergency declaration. The law applies to consumer food items, goods or services used for emergency cleanup, emergency supplies, medical supplies, home heating oil, building materials, housing, transportation, freight, storage services, gasoline, and other motor fuels.

Price gouging carries a criminal penalty of up to one year in county jail and a $10,000 fine. Violators may also face civil enforcement actions and penalties of up to $5,000 per violation, plus mandatory restitution.

People should report any observations of price gouging to the Placer County District Attorney’s Office by email at [email protected].