New York

NY Warns of Price Gouging Amid Omicron Wave: ‘Fraudsters Are on Notice'

An online portal and phone hotline are open to report instances of price gouging

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

A doubling of positive cases amid a resurgence of COVID-19 has New Yorkers rushing out to grab at-home tests and high-quality masks, and the new demand on these products has the state's attorney general worried about price gouging.

Attorney General Letitia James sounded the alarm Sunday of possible price hikes on consumers eager to acquire tools to detect and try to curb the spread of the highly-infection virus.

New Yorkers in past days faced wait times that extended beyond several hours at local testing sites, and others struck out trying to pickup at-home tests after visiting multiple pharmacies.

“As New York sees an exponential rise in COVID-19 cases, more and more New Yorkers are looking for at-home tests and other tools in the fight against the coronavirus," the attorney general said. "If New Yorkers see exorbitant price increases, they are encouraged to report it my office immediately."

"And fraudsters are on notice that if they attempt to price gouge during this new surge, we will not hesitate to take action," she added.

An online web portal and phone hotline (800-771-7755) are available to New Yorkers seeking to report instances of price gouging.

New York's price gouging statute prevents "unconscionably excessive pricing of essential goods and services during any abnormal disruption of the market, such as severe weather, power outages, strikes, or national or local emergencies."

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