New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued yesterday an open letter to vendors warning against price gouging, the inflation of the price of necessary goods and services, including retail gasoline and diesel.

"As another winter storm brings severe conditions to our entire state, my office is watching out for anyone who might use this weather to rip off New Yorkers. If a business is thinking about price gouging, it should know that we can and will enforce the law," Schneiderman said. "And we ask anyone who sees unreasonable
increases in the costs of needed goods and services to report it to my office immediately."

The warning is in response to the statewide state of emergency declared by Governor Andrew Cuomo, says Edgar Ang, of Oil Price Information Service (OPIS).

Ang noted that general Business Law prohibits such increases in costs of essential items like food, water, fuel, generators, batteries and flashlights, and services like tree trimming/removal, emergency structure repairs, or snowplowing, during natural disasters or other events that disrupt the market.

The open letter is addressed to New York State vendors, retailers and suppliers,including but not limited to supermarkets, bodegas, gasoline stations, hardware stores, tree trimming/removal services, snowplowing services, taxi and livery cab drivers.

New Yorkers who see examples of what they consider to be price gauging are encouraged to file a complaint online, or, call the Attorney General's office, 1-800-771-7755.

Across the U.S. consumers should do the same in their state.