The California Contractors Network Self Insured Group has warned homeowners to beware being duped into hiring unlicensed contractors to do clean-up and repair work after the devastating fires that swept through Southern California.
Network Self Insured Group, an association of licensed contractors that
represents 130 contractors with more than 25,000 workers across California, has
warned homeowners to beware being duped into hiring unlicensed contractors to
do clean-up and repair work after the devastating fires that swept through
“On top of the hundreds of
thousands of families who’ve been damaged by the firestorm,” PresidentTom
Wheelersaid, “thousands more will be further victimized by hiring unlicensed
‘contractors’ who are not legally able to do the work, and often never return
once a fat deposit has been paid.”
The association notes that that
some 14,000 insurance claims already have been filed in California, with
insurers expecting to pay up to $1.6 billion for wind and fire damage to homes,
farms, vehicles and businesses.
“That kind of money will
draw the worst of the worst to try to make a quick buck at someone else’s
expense,” Wheeler said, who saw such dealings last year after fires that
ravished the Lake Tahoe (Angora) area. The California Contractors State License
Board set up a sting operation in which agents posed as homeowners seeking
repairs. Unlicensed scam artists illegally sought work in the disaster area.
Five Nevada contractors and one unlicensed California contractor were arrested
and sent to jail.
Homeowners in the California
fire disaster area are urged to make sure a contractor is licensed in the state
by checking online atwww.cslb.ca.gov, or by calling 800/321-CSLB (2752).