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Agencies Working Together to Get Unlicensed Contractors off the Street


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GULF COUNTY, Fla. - As residents continue to rebuild after Hurricane Michael, more and more companies are showing up in the Panhandle but all are not what they seem.

So investigators, deputies and officers teamed up with a goal of getting unlicensed contractors out of work in Gulf County.

"People flooded into our communities, not to help us but to help themselves," said Chief Assistant State Attorney for the 14th Judicial Court, Larry Basford. 

Basford says these contractors are easy to spot. "By state law, all licensed contractors must display their license number on all advertisements."

Those who fall victim to the contractors are at risk of losing or spending too much money.

"They would take the money and do little or no work and then leave and the work that they did commit, was sub-standard," said Basford.

Basford said these contractors are not aware of the building codes in Florida and it could possible force homeowners to spend more money later.

To make sure Hurricane Michael doesn't victimize you twice, there are a couple of warning signs you should look out for including, does this person only want to work weekends or after hours and also if they're asking for a large down payment before work begins.

So far more than 30 unlicensed contractors were caught in Bay County and he team plans to work in Jackson County in the coming weeks.

Two arrests were made on Wednesday in Gulf County.

The participating agencies are the Construction Fraud Task Force consisting of officers from the State Attorney's Office, the Gulf County Sheriff's Office, the Port St. Joe Police Department, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and Department of Financial Services and the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

To check if a company is licensed in the state or to see other warning signs, click here

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