Department of Business and Professional Regulation and Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office “Sting” Unlicensed Contractors in Jacksonville
September 27, 2010
JACKSONVILLE—Friday, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, in partnership with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the State Attorney’s Office for the Fourth Judicial Circuit, completed a three-day sting called “Operation Hammerdown” targeting unlicensed contactors. Twenty-two unlicensed contractors were issued cease and deists notices by DBPR and notices to appear by JSO.
“We are committed to taking proactive measures to keep the public safe and protect them from unlicensed and unscrupulous contractors,” said Secretary Charlie Liem. “We will continue partnerships with local law enforcement to ensure Floridians are protected.”
DBPR investigators gathered advertisements for construction work from online classifieds, such as Craigslist.org. Suspected unlicensed contractors were asked to come to the “sting” house to give estimates for work that requires licensure. When the individuals failed to provide their contractor licenses, they were issued notices and cease and desist and notices to appear for unlicensed contracting. Investigators also provided information on how to obtain a license. The ultimate goal is to bring the individuals into compliance with state law and protect consumers.
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. 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.
- Report suspected unlicensed activity at MyFloridaLicense.com or toll-free at 1-866-532-1440.
DBPR’s mission is to license efficiently and regulate fairly. DBPR 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.