The Arizona Registrar of Contractors wants citizens to be aware of unlicensed and unscrupulous persons who may want to “fix” your roof leaks during the summer Monsoons. Be aware of those persons who seek to prey on Arizona citizens through unlicensed and illegal construction activities.
“This time of year draws unlicensed and unscrupulous persons, who purport themselves to be contractors to bolster their personal coffers with money taken from the most vulnerable of Arizona’s citizens. These individuals look specifically for elderly, disabled and single parent family homes to target for their illicit activity. The reason these citizens are the most vulnerable is because of their limited ability to fight back against the “in your face tactics” commonly used by these unscrupulous people”, says Brian Livingston the Director of Communications for the ROC.
Working with other similar investigatory agencies throughout the country, the Registrar of Contractor’s Investigation Unit has taken notice and is monitoring the increased movement of these unwelcome individuals into Arizona through cooperative intelligence gathering with other state investigatory agencies. These unlicensed contractors have come from a variety of locations in the past ranging from the east coast to Alaska. The most common construction services offered by these groups are roofing, small remodeling projects, air conditioning services, mold remediation and asphalt repair or paving services.
To help prevent consumers from becoming a victim when hiring a contractor, the ROC provides information resources that can be found on their website (www.azroc.gov). The ROC encourages anyone thinking of hiring a contractor to check the ROC website or call the ROC to verify that the person or company that they are hiring is licensed to do contract work in Arizona and is in current license standing with the ROC. Consumers are strongly encouraged to check references provided by the contractor and to get multiple bids before finalizing any contract. It is also important not to be pressured into any contract and to remember “if a bid sounds too good to be true, it probably is”. Any consumer who has been solicited by an individual purporting themselves to be a licensed contractor without providing their ROC license number on their bid or contract should be warned that they are potential dealing with one of these out-of state transient groups. Consumers who believe they have come into contact with any suspected “transient criminal contractor” are urged to call the ROC immediately or e-mail the ROC with as much detail as possible about their contact via the ROC website at www.azroc.gov.
Another method used by the ROC to combat this continuing and growing problem is the ROC’s Outreach Program. This program was developed by the agency to instruct homeowners on the common key phrases and tactics used by this “transient criminal contractor” element when offering construction services to the unsuspecting homeowner. Any statewide organization, association or group of 20 or more may request an ROC Outreach Program presentation by calling the ROC at 602-542-1525 x 7555 or toll free at 1-888-271-9286.
The ROC regulates construction contractors in the state by providing a licensing and regulatory system for residential and commercial contractors designed to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public. Additionally, the ROC offers financial protection to residential consumers who use licensed contractors through its Residential Contractors’ Recovery Fund. Established in 1931, the ROC operates 11 offices statewide. For more information about the agency, call 602-542-1525 or toll-free outside Maricopa County at 888-271-9286 or visit www.azroc.gov.