WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) – New York State Attorney General l Letitia James has warned against price gouging during the current water emergency in the City of Watertown.

In a press release, James said New York’s price gouging statute prevents businesses from taking advantage of consumers by selling essential goods or services at an excessively higher price during market disruptions or emergencies.

She urged New Yorkers that see higher prices on essential goods and services, such as water, to report the issue to her office. 

New Yorkers in Watertown and Jefferson County should be able to purchase boxes of water and other supplies without being taken advantage of. I urge any New Yorker who sees abnormally high prices during this emergency to contact my office.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James

The price gouging statute covers state vendors, retailers, and suppliers. This includes essential goods and services that are necessary for the health, safety, and welfare of consumers or the general public. These goods and services include food, water, gasoline, generators, batteries, flashlights, hotel lodging, and transportation options.

When reporting price gouging to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG), consumers should:

  • Report the specific increased prices, dates, and places that they saw the increased prices; and,
  • Provide copies of their sales receipts and photos of the advertised prices, if available.

Price gouging violations can carry penalties of up to $25,000 per violation. New Yorkers should report potential concerns about price gouging to OAG by filing a complaint online or calling 800-771-7755.