Help is Available for Victims of Unlicensed Contracting Scams

April 11, 2016
For Immediate Release

Help is Available for Victims of Unlicensed Contracting Scams

Flowers aren't the only things popping up this spring. As the temperature rises, so does the number of complaints about unlicensed contractors moving through neighborhoods soliciting landscaping, tree trimming, driveway and roof repairs, and other home improvement services. Often the work performed is low quality, and sometimes the work isn't completed at all.

Unlicensed contractors prey on trusting people who are often uninformed about construction and tree care. Unfortunately, the victims of these scams are often elderly residents. Victims of scams perpetrated by unlicensed contractors often feel ashamed and don't file complaints, but filing a complaint is the best way to prevent others in your community from being taken advantage of. If you suspect that you or someone you love has hired an unlicensed contractor, help is available.

Land Development Services, a division of Fairfax County's Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, enforces unlicensed contractor regulations. Every effort is made to recover financial losses for victims of unlicensed work and to prosecute offenders when necessary.

To file a complaint about an unlicensed contractor, call 703-324-1300, TTY 711, or fill out the online complaint form. Calls to this number are handled by customer service agents working in the Department of Code Compliance. They process complaints about construction problems at your home, construction activities at other properties or unpermitted construction. Due to code limitations in the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code, complaints regarding construction activity more than two years old cannot be accepted.

How to Detect an Unlicensed Contractor

Homeowners, as well as friends and family of elderly residents, can look for the following signs that a contractor may be unlicensed.

If a person identifies him/herself as a licensed contractor and it is discovered the person is not licensed, it is a violation of Fairfax County Code. Residents may check a contractor's license by calling the Virginia State Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation at 804-367-8500, TTY 711. Residents may also research a contractor's history in the county's consumer complaints database.

In addition, you may wish to contact the Financial Crimes Section of the Fairfax County Police Department at 703-246-7800, TTY 711, if money was taken and no work performed.

More information and resources are available on the hiring a contractor webpage.


Contact: Matthew Kaiser, Public Information Officer 
Department of Public Works and Environmental Services 
703-324-8455, TTY 711


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