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Utah's attorney general warns online companies to halt price gouging during coronavirus pandemic

Posted: 10:59 AM, Mar 25, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-25 13:05:45-04
Utah AG going after price gougers

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes is joining his counterparts in 32 other states in warning Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Craigslist and Walmart to halt price gouging in online marketplaces.

In a series of letters sent out Tuesday to online companies, Reyes and other attorneys general warned that allowing such price-gouging is illegal in some states.

“The reality is that we’re all in this Coronavirus crisis together,” Attorney General Reyes said in a statement. “To hoard and then attempt to profit from the sale of products that people need like food, baby formula, toiletries, medicine, paper products, etc. is offensive and, in Utah, also illegal.”

The letters listed examples, including a 2-liter bottle of hand sanitizer being sold for $250 on Craigslist; a $40 8-oz. bottle on Facebook Marketplace; and face masks being sold for $50 on eBay.

The attorneys general demanded the online companies set policies on price gouging and enforce them, and even include trigger points prior to emergency declarations.

The Utah Division of Consumer Protection said it will take complaints about price gouging and scams. Anyone with information can call 801-530-6601 or 1-800-721-7233, or online at consumerprotection.utah.gov.