NR 17-44 Avoid Post-Hurricane Contractor Fraud and Other Scams
The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office would like to take this opportunity to spread awareness about post-hurricane frauds and scams. To prevent becoming a victim of fraud please follow the tips listed below.
Tips: Contractor frauds
1. Make sure you hire contractors that are licensed and insured in the State of Florida.
Request the contractor’s license number and/or copies of their occupational license and certificate of insurance before you signing any contract.
Meet with at least three contractors and get different estimates before hiring someone to complete your repairs.
2. Obtain a detailed contract from your contractor outlining the work and services that will be completed.
Make sure your contract lists an estimated date the contractor will start and complete the job.
Ensure the contract lists the cost of repairs to include the down payment amount and total amount due.
Request a receipt for any cash, check or credit card payments.
Be aware of requests for large down payments, contractors wanting payments in full, additional cost, or payments due every day.
3. Have your contractor obtain the necessary county or city permits to complete your repairs. Only licensed contractors can obtain county or city permits, so be aware of contractors that request that you, the homeowner, obtain the permits.
1. Be cautious of individuals that go door to door requesting to complete repairs to your home or clean up your yard. We do not recommend you hire these knocking contractors and workers.
2. Don’t let individuals into your home claiming to be with a law enforcement agency, utility company, or state agency without checking their identification and calling their agency to verify who they are. A common scam among thieves is finding a way to con you and get into your home. The scam involves individuals going door to door advising they need to inspect your home, power, cable, or water. Once inside the thieves steal money and other valuables.
3. Be aware of donation frauds and scams. If you are going to donate money to help those people effected by Hurricane Irma, make sure it is a reputable and real organization. Thieves will purport themselves as a representative of a reputable organization to steal money. These larger organizations will not go door to door collecting cash from you.
To verify your contractor has obtained the necessary Brevard County Building Permits, you can contact (321) 633-2072 or https://acaweb.brevardcounty.us/CitizenAccess/. To verify your contractor has the necessary Brevard County Licenses, you can contact (321) 633-2058.To verify Florida Professional Licenses, you can contact (850)-487-1395 or visit their website at: www.myfloridalicense.com.
If you are a victim of any of these types of fraud, please contact the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Communication Center at North Area: (321)264-5100, Central Area: (321)633-7162, South Area: (321)952-6371 and file a police report.
For additional information concerning this News Release, please call PIO Tod Goodyear of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office at 321-501-7594.