Photos: Unlicensed contractors busted in bait house sting

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Bait house By Meredith Yeomans Bait house By Meredith Yeomans
Bait house By Meredith Yeomans Bait house By Meredith Yeomans

PHOENIX -- Video of an undercover sting operation shows numerous men showing up at a bait house expecting to speak with homeowners about hiring them.

Instead, they were met by state investigators posing as homeowners needing repair work or some type of construction job at the home.

The goal was to root out contractors operating without a license and it’s all part of an operation involving four states, including Arizona, tarketing unlicensed contractors who advertise on Craigslist.

William Mundell is the director of the Arizona Registrar of Contractors.

“It's a significant problem,” Mundell said of unlicensed contractors.

He says the sting here in Arizona netted 15 people busted for contracting without a license. Many of those contractors gave out written bids.

Thirty-one unlicensed contractors are under investigation in Oregon as a result of a similar sting.

Twenty-three people were busted in Nevada and in California a whopping 100 people were arrested, nearly all of them were found through ads they posted on Craigslist.

Mundell said the purpose of the stings is twofold.

“So, A, we want to get the bad guys, so to speak, but we also want the public know how important it is to hire a licensed contractor,” Mundell said.

In Arizona a person commits a Class 1 Misdemeanor by (1) advertising to perform services that
require a contractor’s license, and/or (2) acting in the capacity of a contractor without a license.

Using a licensed contractor is important to consumers because if you get scammed, you stand a good chance of getting your money back from the Arizona Registrar of Contractors.