How to report gas price gouging if you see it

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Posted at 10:06 AM, May 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-12 13:08:28-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- A number of viewers have reported seeing rapidly increasing gas prices after Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency on Tuesday following the cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline.

The pipeline delivers about 45% of the fuel consumed on the East Coast and is the primary fuel source for many Virginia gas stations.

One woman said that when she went to get gas on Tuesday afternoon, the price read $2.99 a gallon. when she came back, she saw that the price had jumped to $4.99. Then $5.99.

Michael Wallace, the director of communications for Virginia's Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, said that there are a number of ways to report price gouging.

Wallace shared the following information in a statement:

  • Violations of the Virginia Post-Disaster Anti-Price Gouging Act are enforceable by the Office of the Attorney General through the Virginia Consumer Protection Act.
  • Complaints should be reported for investigation to the Office of the Attorney General Consumer Protection Section, with the exception of claims related to gasoline and motor fuel prices, which should be reported to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Office of Weights and Measures.
  • Consumers who suspect they are a victim of price gouging can call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline (800) 552-9963, or (804) 786-2042 if calling from the Richmond area or outside Virginia.

To file a complaint relating to motor fuel price gouging, people can download a form from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.