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Hundreds of price gouging cases filed in Tri-States

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The number of price gouging complaints are starting to add up in the Tri-States.

So far 566 complaints have been filed in Illinois, more than 250 complaints in Iowa, and more than a hundred complaints in Missouri.

Consumer advocates say if you see it, report it.

Price gouging doesn't just affect buyers, but also business owners, like Bill Cox with Brown Drug in Quincy, who chooses to do the right thing.

"It irritates me in business as much as it does personally, that people who tend to be unscrupulous, would take advantage of anyone in these times, if we get price gouged, ultimately its the consumer that's going to get price gouged again and I hate it."

Bill Cox | Brown Drug

Mara Clingingsmith with the Better Business Bureau is monitoring the situation.

Unlike Brown Drug, other businesses are taking advantage of consumer needs by price gouging. Mara Clingingsmith says there are three things you can do to protect yourself.

Be aware, know the value of the product, but the most important thing is to speak up.

"If you come across a situation of price gouging when you're reporting it, you want to be as specific as possible. You want the name of the business, the name of the employees that were involved if any, the item, the pricing, all of that just so that you have all of the details."

Mara Clingingsmith | Regional Director Better Business Bureau

Clingingsmith says a big part in cracking down on this issue is when people communicate what's happening.

She says, "In times of this healthcare crisis, it is really unfair and unethical, and so any time that you come across a business who is price gouging, you should absolutely report it."

Cox believes if the business has to price gouge to sale a product, then it's not worth having.

He says, "If we can't get it, and we know where people can, we'll send them that direction, because this is a time where everybody needs to take care of everybody else."

If you come across price gouging, you can report it on BBB.org or your state attorney general's website.

https://illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/

https://ago.mo.gov/

https://www.iowaattorneygeneral.gov/

https://www.bbb.org/

Charity Bell

Multimedia Journalist at WGEM

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