The Contractors State License Board launched an undercover sting with there Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT) in the small city of Ridgecrest, California.

Fifteen unlicensed contractors were given citations for contracting without a license, 10 of whom face additional charges. All 15 suspects were issued citations and will appear in Kern County Superior Court.

The Contractors State License Board has sting operations setup throughout California weekly to help protect consumers, and help level the playing field for legitimate contractors.

The SWIFT investigators had set up an undercover sting that invited contractors, real and fake, to give a bid on painting, concrete, tree trimming, and fence work at a Ridgecrest home. In California, all home improvement jobs that have a total greater than $500 in combined materials and labor must be done by a licensed contractor.

Before letting a supposed “contractor” work on your home, it is best to check the CSLB instant license check to make sure that the contractor is in good standing AND has workers comp insurance.

Why should you check?

If you hire an unlicensed contractor to do work on your home and they get injured, you might be held liable and could potentially get sued by the unlicensed contractor. Also, unlicensed contractors that request to be paid in cash, are rarely legitimate business owners, thereby hurting the California economy.