Better Business Bureau offers tips to report price gouging

Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 4:23 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Before you fill up your gas tank, the Better Business Bureau wants to make sure you don’t become a victim of price gouging.

As of Wednesday morning, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Office of Weights and Measures received 12 price gouging complaints about gas throughout Virginia, including one in Richmond.

Barry N. Moore, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Central Virginia, says this difference can be seen in dollars.

“If gas is $2.99 today and $3.99 tomorrow, you’re probably looking at a gouge situation,” he said.

Barry Moore says Virginia law bans suppliers from charging unreasonable prices for necessities, like gas, during a declared state of emergency.

“It’s when people, for instance, in gas go from 10 to 20 cents gallon hike to suddenly $1, $2, $3 or more,” he said. “That is something that the stations shouldn’t be doing or those others who might be price gouging.”

Complaints about price gouging can be submitted through the Office of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

If you decide to file a claim, Moore says people should document these price gouging complaints on their phones.

“Take a picture of the pump. Take a picture of your watch beside it so you can get timing,” he said. “Get information, the who, the what, the when, the where, and the why to back it up.”

Moore also encourages people to submit their complaints to the Better Business Bureau so they can post them on their online scam tracker.

“We research these pretty fast,” Moore said. “If it’s valid, we’ll post it. Hours, if not a day, you’ll be able to see there’s a fresh complaint, a fresh scam that has some legs to it and it’s on our scam tracker.”

Tidewater, Northern Virginia, and the Waynesboro area each have three price gouging complaints about gas, according to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

If you would like to file a price-gouging complaint through VDACS’ Office of Weights and Measures, click here.

If you would like to submit a complaint about a scam to the Better Business Bureau, click here.

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