Johnson County DA warns of price gouging related to COVID-19

KS businesses prohibited from significant price raises
Posted at 11:12 AM, Mar 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-13 12:12:19-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.a — After three new Johnson County residents tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the total there to four cases, District Attorney Steve Howe warned residents to be aware of scams and price gouging related to COVID-19.

Howe said that because Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly declared a state of emergency on Thursday, businesses in the state “are prohibited from significantly raising prices of necessary goods or services.”

In a news release, Howe said that includes food and health items, as well as medical supplies and services.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said in a news release Friday that an "anti-profiteering statute" to keep businesses from increasing the price of these items has now gone into effect.

The law prohibits an increase of 25% or more on items for which consumer demand may be more likely because of the coronavirus.

Howe said his office already has received reports of suspected price gouging of some items, such as disinfecting wipes.

Anyone who believes price gouging may be occurring should contact the Johnson County District Attorney’s consumer hotline at 913-715-3003 or the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division online or at 800-432-2310.

Residents also should be aware of scams such as survival guides, natural remedies or unapproved medical treatments that may be related to COVID-19.