SHASTA COUNTY, Calif. - Since the beginning of the Carr Fire, the Shasta County District Attorney's Office has been warning the public to be on the lookout for scammers looking to take advantage of people who lost or had their homes damaged.
Those scammers often come in the form of unlicensed contractors.
“And they're going out without a license and bidding these jobs trying to take them away from people that have a license,” said district attorney Stephanie Bridgett.
Often times, those scammers will take a down payment for a job and never return to do the work.
Recently the DA’s office conducted a successful sting operation in conjunction with the Contractors State License Board to find individuals preying on Carr Fire victims.
“Over the last two days, we made nine arrests,” Bridgett said. “All of them felonies for individuals portraying themselves as licensed contractors who in fact were not licensed.”
Bridgett stressed the importance of checking to make sure contractors are licensed.
She said it's for the public's protection.
“One of the individuals is a parolee,” Bridgett said. “The state contracting licensing board, they do background checks, fingerprinting before they issue a license. That's for your protection as a consumer and for all the other contractors.”
She said they'll continue to put signs out in the community warning the public and potential scammers.
Her team will continue to go out into the streets and do as much proactive work as possible to keep people from becoming re-victimized after the fire.
“And hopefully that's going to serve as a deterrent effect for those who want to prey on our community,” Bridgett said.
If you or someone you know suspect someone is unlicensed, you can call the district attorney’s office or the Contractors State License Board for more info.