Christine Stuart photo

In the recent days after Hurricane Ike, state officials are investigating hundreds of complaints of suspected gasoline price gouging.

Gov. M. Jodi Rell warned that it is illegal to take advantage of a natural disaster by hiking prices. Since Saturday when Hurricane Ike hit the Texas coast, the consumer hotline has fielded 170 price-gouging complaints. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal anticipated that his office would field 200 calls by the end of the day Monday.

In press release Monday Blumenthal noted that after Katrina in 2005 his office forced more than 20 retailers “to pay in excess of $100,000 in illegal, ill-gotten profits.”

“The people of Connecticut are justifiably wary of price gouging and we are investigating any complaints we receive,” Rell said in a press release Monday.

The phone number to call if you’re a Connecticut resident and suspect price gouging is: 800-842-2649