'$1 per pump of hand sanitizer' Here's how to report coronavirus price gouging in Minnesota

A retailer suspected of price gouging could be charged with a criminal misdemeanor.

Paul and Jordana
March 23, 2020 - 6:42 pm
Keith Ellison

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office has stepped up its efforts to combat coronavirus related price gouging, which is now illegal following an executive order from the governor last week.

“If you are a retailer and your prices have gone up and that's that's not who we are looking for — we're looking for people who really want to cash in on the crisis," Ellison told the Paul and Jordana show on Monday afternoon.

Ellison said his staff had begun collecting examples over the weekend, including:

  • $1 per pump of hand sanitizer. 
  • $90 for a pack of toilet paper.
  • $5 for a mask. 

Other tips have poured in from residents. The AG’s office has set up an online form to report instances of price gouging. It includes an option for users to upload photos of the sign or price listing in question. Complaints can also be filed over the phone via (651) 296-3353 (Twin Cities) or (800) 657-3787. 

Ellison said that his office could charge anyone violating the governor's executive order with a criminal misdemeanor offense.

“We have not exacted any criminal penalties yet. We're trying to get people to simply comply without that, but that is there and is a tool available,” he said.

Ellison said that while his office had recieved many complaits so far, he believed most retailers were doing their best to help the public.

“I just want to say, we've gotten a lot of calls, but really, I'm happy about the calls we didn't get because the overwhelming number of business people are like, ‘Look, you know, we're all in this together and we're going to do the right thing.’” 

Comments ()