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Wednesday
Nov102010

NYC Nabs Unlicensed Contractors in Undercover Sting Operation

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The city of New York announced Wednesday the results of an undercover sting operation that targeted illegal contractors.

The majority of states require home improvement contractors to be properly licensed, but there are still plenty of rogue companies operating.

Repairing or remodeling your home is one of the most expensive projects you'll ever undertake, and when things go wrong it can be not just a money issue but a safety issue.  That's why authorities in New York and elsewhere are getting tough with illegal, unlicensed contractors.

Authorities in New York used an ordinary house that appeared to be in need of repairs to perform a sting.  The homeowners who invited contractors to the house were actually inspectors with the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs.

As soon as someone offers to perform contracting work, they have him.

"What is it you do?" an inspector asks a contractor.

"Everything," the contractor replies.

"I need brickpointing," the inspector said.

"I start with the foundation. I'm the contractor," the contractor said.

But actually, he's not.  In New York and at least 41 states, to be a contractor, you must be licensed or registered.

New York's sting netted a dozen companies and $65,000 in fines.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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