March 27, 2020, Tamuning, Guam- The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has conducted nearly 60 investigations into potential price gouging violations reported over the last two weeks. Based on initial investigations, around half of the complaints need additional action by the Consumer Division (CPD) which could include the issuance of a Cease and Desist Order and penalties up to three times the gross profits on overcharged goods and criminal penalties.
The OAG also issued a Cease and Desist Order to a distributor advertising a product on social media platforms and messaging that falsely claims to create an “atmospheric shield” for protection against viruses. Companies or individuals who violate Guam’s Deceptive Trade Practices law face penalties of up to $5,000 per violation.
The OAG continues to encourage consumers to report potential violations of either price gouging or deceptive practices to: email@example.com
Suspected violations should include the following information:
● The name of the store or business suspected of price gouging or deceptive practices. Be as accurate as possible with the business/store name. If residents are not certain about the name of the business, please provide a street name or landmark which will allow OAG investigators to properly identify the establishment.
● Identify the product. Please be as descriptive as possible. Details such as brand, size (i.e. fluid ounces, pounds, number of loads), and product type of (bleach, wipes, detergent) is important.
● Take a photo. Consumers are asked to take a photo of the item or advertisement in question and its price.
● If possible, provide a receipt or other documentation of the price prior to the alleged increase.