More than 400 possible cases of price gouging of gasoline and other essentials, including a $10 box of matches and $7 loaf of bread, have been reported in New York before and after Sandy.
Reports are being investigated in New York City, the Hudson Valley and on Long Island by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Schneiderman said Monday that he's investigating an increasing number of reports of spikes in prices for essential goods including gasoline, food, bottled water, generators, batteries and flashlights. The probe can include sharp, unwarranted increases in the cost of prices by retailers including supermarkets, hardware stores, bodegas, delis, hotels and taxis, he said.
In one report, the cost of a bag of potatoes jumped to $7, up from $3 before the storm hit. The cost of the box of matches appears more than three times the usual cost, and the loaf of bread is more than double the usual cost.
New Yorkers can report price gouging by telephone at 800-771-7755 or through his office website.
"We are actively investigating hundreds of complaints we've received from consumers of businesses preying on victims of Hurricane Sandy," Schneiderman said. "Our office has zero tolerance for price gouging."
No arrests were reported as of Monday. Schneiderman wouldn't discuss details of the reports or the investigation.