Department of Business and Professional Regulation and Tampa Police Department "Sting" Unlicensed Contractors
October 13, 2010
TAMPA—Yesterday, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, in partnership with the Tampa Police Department, conducted a contracting sting operation, resulting in three arrests. Unlicensed contractors were arrested by the Tampa Police Department and issued administrative penalties by DBPR. The following individuals were arrested and cited: Scott S. Brady (38), Armando Lopez (36), and Frederick K. Wilson (52).
“We are committed to continuing sting operations to keep the public safe and protect them from unlicensed and unscrupulous contractors,” said Secretary Charlie Liem. “We appreciate the support and partnership from Tampa Police Department.”
The Tampa Police Department gathered advertisements for plumbing and electrical services from Craigslist.org. Unlicensed contractors were asked to come to the “sting” location to provide a proposal for work that requires a state license. When the individuals failed to provide their state-required license, they were arrested by TPD and issued citations by DBPR. In addition to arrests, investigators 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 www.MyFloridaLicense.com.