Price gouging is against the law in the state of Connecticut during a public health emergency such as the COVID-19 pandemic and is deemed to be an unfair trade practice. Price increases are not gouging if they are made in the ordinary course of business. Consumers should be careful during these challenging times where certain products are scarce, such as hand sanitizer, not to be taken advantage of by the unscrupulous. Any person or company price gouging during a state of emergency violates Connecticut General Statute §42- 230 which provides: “ No person, firm or corporation shall increase the price of any item which such person, firm or corporation sells or offers for sale at retail at any location in an area which is the subject of any disaster emergency declaration issued by the Governor…or any major disaster or emergency declaration issued by the President of the United States, until the period of emergency or disaster is declared by the Governor or the President to be at an end. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the fluctuation in the price of items sold at retail which occurs during the normal course of business. Any person, firm or corporation which violates any provision of this section shall be fined not more than ninety-nine dollars. Any violation of the provisions of this section shall be deemed an unfair or deceptive trade practice under subsection (a) of section 42-110b.” If you have been the victim of price gouging, you should contact the office of the Connecticut Attorney General.