NEW YORK — Some New York City shops could soon be in the cross hairs of the Attorney General over coronavirus-related price-gouging.
AG Letitia James took action against one store Tuesday following a PIX11 report. Investigators found that City Fresh Market in Astoria was charging customers $14.99 for a bottle of disinfectant spray.
“On my watch, we will not tolerate schemes or frauds designed to turn large profits by exploiting people’s health concerns,” James said. “While there remains no cause for widespread panic, some people are looking to prey on others’ anxiety and line their own pockets.”
A Midtown hardware store charged customers $79.99 for hand sanitizer. There have been shortages as people worried about coronavirus have stocked up on products.
On Tuesday, PIX11 found Purell sanitizing wipes on sale for $16.99 at a Manhattan store. A pharmacy in Brooklyn was selling individual masks for $3 each. The masks came from a box of 50, sold by the wholesaler for $50 total. At $3 each, the store will make $150 for the box.
The penalty for violating the price-gouging laws in New York City is a violation and a fine of up to $500.
If you suspect price gouging, call the NYS Attorney General at 800-697-1220.