As concern about the coronavirus has increased, many people have been rushing to stores to grab supplies.


And a state law designed to combat price-gouging is in effect, according to County Attorney Todd Thompson.


"This laws prohibits unjustifiably raising prices for goods and services that consumers would likely demand due to this pandemic," Thompson said in a news release.


Enforcement of the state anti-profiteering law was triggered last week by Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly's declaration of a state of emergency due to the coronavirus virus outbreak.


"The Kansas anti-profiteering statute is rarely invoked but is designed to prevent opportunistic greed from overcoming the public need for necessary virus-response products and services during this time of emergency,” Kansas Attorney General Derek said in a news release.


A price increase is presumed unjustified if it exceeds by 25 percent or more the price at which the goods or services were available March 11 or the price for which the same goods or services are available from other sellers in an area, according to a news release from the Attorney General's Office.


The law can be enforced by the Attorney General's Office and county and district attorneys in the state.


The penalty for violating the law is a fine of up to $10,000 per violation, according to Thompson.


Thompson recommends that people with information about possible price-gouging contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division online at www.InYourCornerKansas.org. People also can call 1-800-432-2310 to request a paper complaint form be sent to them by mail.


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