FRUIT HEIGHTS — Unlicensed contractors in Fruit Heights and St. George were cited after state regulators caught them in a sting operation last week.
Twenty-one unlicensed contractors were caught in a weeklong investigation by the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing.
Among the unlicensed contractors was an individual who gave a bid to tile two decks for $1,000 in materials and $1,850 in labor. He also bid wood floor installation for $9,000 in materials and $3,275 in labor.
During the investigation, DOPL investigators set up decoy homes needing repairs in Fruit Heights and St. George.Then, they sought repair and renovation bids from online ads and Internet bulletin boards.
When the bids came in, violators were cited for unlicensed activity and given information on the process for gaining licensure through DOPL.
“When homeowners want something fixed or upgraded, they are quick to compare prices but not quick to check to see if someone is licensed through the state,” said Francine A. Giani, executive director of the Utah Department of Commerce and the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing, in a press release.
“Do yourself a favor and take five minutes to check them out at dopl.utah.gov where you can verify, online, anytime,” she said.
“Based on the numerous high ticket bids received by our decoy homeowners, the public needs to make sure they work with licensed professionals to ensure your rights are protected under state law if the deal goes south,” said Mark Steinagel, DOPL division director.
“Otherwise you may end up paying twice for the same job when the phony contractor fails to deliver,” he said.
Consumers should be aware that Internet bulletin boards and online classified ads might invite deceptive business opportunities.