Illinois consumers have filed more than 700 price gouging complaints accusing stores of raising prices on household goods during the rush to stock up because of the new coronavirus.
The city of Chicago received 175 price gouging complaints between March 1 and Monday. The state received 526 complaints during the same period.
Most of the complaints filed with the city involved toilet paper and hand sanitizer, but a few also cited price increases on food and beverage products, said Isaac Reichman, a spokesman for the city’s Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Department.
“While a reasonable price escalation due to increased demand or decreased supply may be acceptable, egregious price gouging, particularly for essential items, will not be tolerated and BACP is encouraging consumers to call 3-1-1 to report cases. We will investigate all complaints and take action where necessary, which can lead to fines of up to $10,000 per offense,” Reichman said in an emailed statement.