NYC officials on the lookout for price gouging as coronavirus fears spread
NEW YORK - New York City’s Consumer Protection department has declared that masks are in short supply and that as a result, if any store is caught price gouging for them, they will be fined up to $500.
As coronavirus fears spread throughout the region, stores are running out of hand sanitizer, face masks, alcohol wipes and rubbing alcohol. Thermometers are also in high demand.
With shortages of similar supplies occurring across New York, price gouging has become an increasing problem, with online retailer Amazon removing over a million products due to price gouging and false claims.
State Senator Brad Hoylman has introduced a bill in Albany to crack down on price gouging. Anyone caught charging more than a 10% increase on an item like a face mask would be slapped with a hefty fine of $25,000 per incident.
While masks are in great demand, health experts continue to remind people that you should only wear a mask if you’re sick.