New York authorities are investigating widespread reports of price-gouging on fuel, water and other vital items in the wake of superstorm Sandy, officials said Monday.

"Our office has zero tolerance for price-gouging," Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said. "We are actively investigating hundreds of complaints we've received from consumers of businesses preying on victims."

New York law prohibits sharp price increases for essential items including food, water, gasoline, generators, flashlights and transport during natural and other crises.