Be wary of scam artists while pursuing repairs, Sheriff Tom Knight warns the public

After a hurricane strike, unlicensed contractors and illegitimate handymen typically come into a community, sheriff says

Sheriff Tom Knight. Photo courtesy Sheriff’s Office

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is reminding the public in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma “to be aware of unlicensed contractors and other service providers trying to take advantage of residents who experienced property damage.”

While cleanup efforts continue throughout Sarasota County, a Sheriff’s Office news release says, many residents are seeking services such as roof repair, tree removal and electrical maintenance. This is a time when unlicensed contractors and illegitimate handymen around Florida and from out-of-state will offer their services in an attempt to perpetrate scams on those affected by the hurricane, the release points out.

“This is a good opportunity following Hurricane Irma, to remind consumers to always seek legitimate service providers to perform work on their homes or businesses,” Sheriff Knight stressed in the release. “When hiring an individual to repair damages, residents MUST verify their contractor is legitimate before allowing any work to be done on their property,” he added with emphasis in the release. “Unfortunately, service providers might target the elderly or other vulnerable people who aren’t knowledgeable of repair work and associated costs.”

“To check a Sarasota County license or report someone you suspect is acting as an unlicensed contractor or performing work without a permit,” the release says, call 861-5214 or 861-5000 or visit www.scgov.net/contractors.

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