Department of Business and Professional Regulation and Broward Sheriff's Office "Sting" Unlicensed Contractors
Feb. 4, 2010
COOPER CITY—The Department of Business and Professional Regulation, in partnership with the Broward Sheriff’s Office, completed a contracting sting operation, resulting in three arrests, eight cease and desist notices and two citations. BSO arrested three individuals for unlicensed contracting, issued two drug-related notices to appear and made one physical arrest for an outstanding traffic warrant. DBPR issued eight cease and desist notices and two citations.
“The department is committed to partnering with law enforcement on sting operations to ensure that unlicensed contactors understand that unlicensed contracting is a crime,” said Interim Secretary Charlie Liem. “I would like to thank the Broward Sheriff’s Office for partnering with us on this important operation. We look forward to working with them again.”
DBPR investigators gathered advertisements for construction work from the Internet. Unlicensed contractors were asked to come to the “sting” house to provide a proposal for construction and electrical work. The unlicensed contractors presented themselves as qualified to perform work that requires a state license. When the individuals failed to provide their state-required license, they were arrested. DBPR investigators also provided information on how to obtain a license, in keeping with the department’s ultimate goal to bring individuals into compliance with state law and protect consumers.
“It is important that we continue to work together to protect homeowners from unscrupulous and unlicensed workers,” Sheriff Al Lamberti said.
Below are precautions that consumers can take to help protect themselves from unlicensed individuals:
- Always ask to see the State of Florida license.
- Note the license number and verify that the license is current and in good standing. To check a license, call 850-487-1395 or visit MyFloridaLicense.com.
- Ask for references and check each one.
- Do not pay cash and be cautious of writing checks made payable to individuals, especially when dealing with a company.
- Get everything in writing, including a detailed description of the work to be completed, a completion date and the total cost.
The department’s mission is to license efficiently and regulate fairly. The department licenses more than one million businesses and professionals ranging from real estate agents, veterinarians, and accountants to contractors and cosmetologists. For more information, please visit MyFloridaLicense.com.