Attorney general issues subpoenas to Amazon third-party sellers for price gouging

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) - Thursday Attorney General Daniel Cameron issued subpoenas to six third-party sellers in Kentucky who used Amazon’s online platform to engage in suspected price gouging during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The sellers allegedly engaged in price gouging essential emergency and medical supplies, including hand sanitizer and N-95 respirator masks. Some sellers inflated the price of these items by as much as 1,951 percent.

Amazon worked with Attorney General Cameron to identify the top price gougers in Kentucky and more than half of the sellers were served with cease and desist orders as investigations continued.

“Kentuckians who purchase essential medical and emergency supplies should feel confident that they are not being taken advantage of because of the health crisis,” said Attorney General Cameron. “The egregious actions of these third-party sellers will not be tolerated in Kentucky, and the subpoenas we issued should serve as a warning to anyone who tries to illegally profit from COVID-19. I am grateful to Amazon for working with us to stop these predatory practices by third-party sellers.”

Kentucky’s price gouging laws went into effect in early March.

If you see suspected price gouging, call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-888-432-9257.

There is also an online price gouging complaint form to make it easier to report suspected price gouging.

When filing a price gouging complaint, consumers are encouraged to report as many details as possible about the suspected price gouging. Information such as the name and address of the seller/retailer, the item purchased, the price of the item after the emergency declaration, and the price of the item before the emergency declaration, if known.