Local law enforcement is warning homeowners across the Bay area of scammers looking to take advantage of those with property damage from the recent, record-breaking rainfall.
In Pasco County, one of the areas hit hardest, the sheriff’s office says locals can protect themselves from being duped by making sure to hire only licensed contractors to repair their homes.
They say hiring unlicensed contractors could not only result in shoddy work, but it could also lead to unfinished projects from criminals who take your money and run.
Additionally, deputies warn that they cannot protect consumers who choose to work with unlicensed contractors.
“Hiring an unlicensed contractor is a choice made by you, therefore you are held accountable for all outcomes associated with the contractor’s work,” an official PCSO statement reads.
They urge homeowners to protect themselves by following these tips:
- Verify State of Florida licensed contractors online at www.myfloridalicense.com
- DO NOT ACCEPT “OCCUPATIONAL LICENSE” as contractor’s license
- Obtain a written contract with detailed description of work to be done, including estimated completion date and total cost
- Ask for reference from contractor
- Ask for testing and certification information
- Ask to see proof of General Liability and/or Workman’s Comp Insurance coverage. They are required to have it!
- NEVER pay up front
- NEVER write checks payable to an individual
Those wishing to report unlicensed activity can do so to any of the following authorities:
Pasco County Sheriff's Office
- 7432 Little Road New Port Richey, Fl 33654
Pasco County Building Dept.
- 7508 Little Road New Port Richey Fl 33654
Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation
- Phone: 866-532-1440