DBPR: In Wake of Tropical Storm Isaac, Hire Licensed Professionals for Repairs
August 28, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – As clean-up after Tropical Storm Isaac in South Florida begins and the northwestern part of the state continues to endure significant rainfall and flooding, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) today urged consumers to hire licensed professionals for repairs and recovery. Consumers are also encouraged to post or tweet pictures to the Department’s social media channels if they suspect someone is performing unlicensed activity, enabling inspectors to gather information from areas that may have limited accessibility. Flooding has been reported in more than six counties and tornado activity has been reported in the southern region of the state.
“Residents all across the state will be impacted by this storm,” said Secretary Ken Lawson. “It is important that Floridians protect themselves from post-storm scams and unlicensed activity by checking licenses.”
During a declared state of emergency, unlicensed activity typically increases as scam artists prey on desperate situations. Unlicensed activity during a declared state of emergency is a felony offense and may be punishable by fines or even prison if convicted.
The following tips may help consumers better identify unlicensed activity:
- 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, visit www.MyFloridaLicense.com or download the DBPR iPhone or Android mobile app. (link to info on app)
- Ask for references and check each one.
- Avoid paying 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.
Floridians can also notify the Department of Business and Professional Regulation of any suspected unlicensed activity by calling 1-866-532-1440, emailing ULA@dbpr.state.fl.us or posting a picture with the address where the work is being performed to the Department’s Facebook or Twitter pages. Floridians can find additional information on creating a plan and tips on weathering the storms this Hurricane Season at www.FloridaDisaster.org.
The Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s mission is to license efficiently and regulate fairly. The Department licenses and regulates more than one million businesses and professionals ranging from hotels and restaurants, real estate agents and certified public accountants to veterinarians, contractors and cosmetologists. For more information, please visit www.MyFloridaLicense.com.
More information about DBPR is available online at www.myfloridalicense.com. Also, follow @FloridaDBPR on Twitter or Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation on Facebook for updates about license cycles, events and other important new