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NJ Officials Investigating Claims Of Price Gouging In Wake Of Irene

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People wait in line for gas during a mandatory evacuation in preparation for Hurricane Irene August 26, 2011 in North Cape May, New Jersey. (Photo by William Thomas Cain)

People wait in line for gas during a mandatory evacuation in preparation for Hurricane Irene August 26, 2011 in North Cape May, New Jersey. (Photo by William Thomas Cain)

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NEWARK, NJ (WCBS 880) – New Jersey investigators are keeping an eye on businesses that might be trying to prey on storm victims.

LISTEN: WCBS 880′s Monica Miller reports


Roughly 50 people have called New Jersey’s Division of Consumer Affairs about price gouging of gas, batteries, bottled water and hotel rooms.

Director Tom Calcagni says he’s deploying his investigators across the state who have looked into half of the complaints, each of which was found to be unsubstantiated.

“A price is deemed excessive if it exceeds by more than 10 percent the price of which the good or service was sold prior to the state of emergency unless the price charge is attributable to additional cost imposed on the seller,” said Calcagni.

Calcagni suggests before hiring anyone, demand a written contract and get references from people they trust.

Calcagni says over the next two days, they’ll have their investigators visit the areas hardest hit to give flood victims information about avoiding scam artists and finding reliable contractors.

For more information, visit their website or call their toll-free hotline at 1-800-242-5846.

Have you seen price gouging in your area? Let us know in our comments section below…

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