NJ cracks down on price gouging, scams related to coronavirus
With news of a second novel coronavirus case in the Garden State announced on Thursday, and several more possible cases being investigated, there is mounting concern we could soon face a novel coronavirus outbreak in New Jersey.
We’re also getting word some people and businesses in New Jersey are looking to cash in on this latest health threat.
“We’ve received a number of complaints over the past couple of weeks concerning businesses who are engaged in price gouging on products ranging from surgical masks to hand sanitizer,” said state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal during a Thursday news conference.
“Our investigators are out there in the market now, spot-checking pharmacies and other businesses for this type of conduct.”
He said reports of price gouging are being actively investigated across the state.
“We take seriously allegations of those who might be making misleading claims with regard to the efficacy of certain products to treat or prevent the spread of the coronavirus," he said.
Grewal said as a result of several recent investigations, businesses have received 10 warnings to cease.
He noted fines could have been issued right away but the offenders have an opportunity to stop their behavior immediately without a penalty.
Grewal said if anyone “suspects a business is engaged in this type of conduct or making misleading statements, I encourage them to visit the website for our division of consumer affairs.”
He said by visiting the website, “you can get more information there about scams we have identified in the wake of this public health crisis and you can also report businesses that are engaged in improper conduct.”
“It’s simply unconscionable that businesses in our state, including pharmacies, are seeking to profit off of the fear of the public at this particular moment, our inspectors stand ready to root out this conduct."
You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com