hidden Facebook pixel script

St. Johns County warns of contractor scams following St. Augustine tornado

Lucia Viti | April 12, 2024

St. Johns County warns residents of contractor scams following yesterday’s tornado that touched down in St Augustine near Samara Lakes and Trailmark

As the county begins to assess the damage from a tornado that touched down in the vicinity of Samara Lakes and TrailMark subdivisions at approximately 11:40 a.m. on Thursday, officials are warning residents to be wary of contractor scams.

To avoid falling prey to scam artists, the county released the following tips:

  • Speak with your insurance agent before signing any contracts.
  • Use caution when hiring someone who approaches you unsolicited.
  • Be wary of hiring anyone offering a discount to fix repairs with materials “leftover from another job.”
  • Request multiple estimates.
  • Verify a contractor’s license from the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
  • Request references. Contact the Florida Attorney General’s Office to verify if any complaints have been filed against the company or contractor.
  • Validate current insurance policies and/or bonding information.
  • Never pay the complete bill in advance and use caution with the amount used for deposits.
  • Ensure proper permitting prior to all construction/repairs. For questions concerning whether a repair requires a permit, contact the St. Johns County Building Department.
  • Read the entire contract, including the fine print, before signing.
  • Every contract must include a “buyer’s right to cancel” within a three-day window.
  • Make sure that the property is void of any liens from suppliers or subcontractors who were not paid by the contractor.
  • Insist on releasing all property liens from subcontractors before making final payments.  
  • Do not sign a certificate of completion or pay in full unless you’re completely satisfied.

Click here for more information on St. Johns County Building Department and click here for information from the St. Johns County Emergency Management Department.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email