Department of Business and Professional Regulation and Indian River Sheriff's "Sting" Unlicensed Contractors in Vero Beach
November 5, 2009
VERO BEACH—Individuals who headed to a jobsite to provide electrical and air conditioning work without state-required licensure ended up leaving with an arrest in-hand. Unlicensed activity poses a serious threat to consumer that can result in personal and financial harm. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Division of Regulation partnered with the Indian River Sherriff’s Office to execute a sting operation that resulted in the arrest of two individuals for unlicensed contracting. The operation was conducted over a two-day period, ending yesterday.
A sting operation is where known or suspected unlicensed individuals are invited to a decoy jobsite and asked to provide an estimate for work that requires a state license. Once they provide that estimate and fail to provide their state-required license, they are arrested. In addition to the arrest, investigators provide information on how to obtain a license. The ultimate goal is to bring the individuals into compliance with state law and protect consumers.
This operation is part of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s statewide effort to combat unlicensed activity, which will last through this week. The department uses a three-tiered approach to combat unlicensed activity through education, prevention and enforcement.
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.