Nassau County Office of Consumer Affairs investigators fined seven more businesses for price gouging violations amid the coronavirus outbreak, bringing the total to nine, officials said on Wednesday.
The businesses were fined for allegedly overcharging for Coronavirus-related personal health products such as hand sanitizer and face masks. There are also 15 alleged price gouging investigations currently ongoing, officials added.
“We want to make sure that people aren’t taking advantage of this panic,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran. “We have a very robust Office of Consumer Affairs that is really cracking down and doing investigations.”
Nassau officials discussed six of the seven violations, which included businesses in Great Neck, Hicksville, Carle Place, Manhasset, Syosset, and Wantagh.
A gas station in Great Neck, a store in Hicksville, and a convenient store in Carle Place were all fined $5,000 for selling overpriced hand sanitizers. The store in Hicksville is said to have sold small bottles of 7-Eleven branded hand sanitizer for $13 each.
A Manhasset variety store was fined $10,000 for selling hand sanitizers at “a highly inflated price.” Officials did not state why the Manhasset store had been fined double that of the others.
Lastly, a store in Syosset and a convenient store in Wantagh were fined $5,000. The Syosset store was selling masks individually for $16 each, while the Wantagh store was selling masks individually at an undisclosed price with zero sales tax.
Officials warn Long Islanders to not buy masks sold individually as buyers don’t know who touched them.
“As families across Long Island take extra precaution to protect themselves from the spread of Coronavirus, they shouldn’t also have to protect their wallets from price gougers,” said U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
Price gouging related tips can be sent to Nassau consumer affairs officials by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org