Oregon Construction Contractors Board
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National Enforcement Action Targets Unlicensed Contractors - 06/28/18

Oregon CCB investigators turn up 32 alleged violations

The Oregon Construction Contractor Board (CCB) found more than a dozen unlicensed contractors and other alleged violations of contracting regulations during unannounced visits to 157 job sites earlier this month. The “sweep” was part of a multistate action targeting the construction industry.

In Oregon, the CCB concentrated its investigators at job sites along the northern Oregon Coast from Newport to Astoria. Oregon joined nine other states in the broader action coordinated by the National Association of State Contractor Licensing Agencies (NASCLA).

The largest number of Oregon’s 32 alleged violations involved people working on home improvement projects without a CCB contractor license, including contractors that hired unlicensed subcontractors or worked on homes built prior to 1978 without the required Lead-Based Paint Renovation license.

The CCB is now sending notices of intent to issue civil penalties to those suspected of violations.

Additionally, the agency shared the information about suspected instances of employers “paying under the table” with state revenue and employment departments to ensure employers are reporting payroll and paying taxes.

“These concentrated enforcement efforts highlight the work our individual field investigators do every day in an effort to protect consumers from unlicensed contractors and to level the playing field for legitimate contractors,” Lead Investigator Eric McLauchlin said.

Nearly everyone who repairs, remodels or builds a home needs a CCB license, meaning they are bonded and insured and can pull required building permits. Addionally, the CCB provides mediation services to help iron out disputes that arise between homeowners and licensed contractors. People who use unlicensed contractors don’t have access to the service.

“These are important protections for the public,” McLauchlin said. “And, all contractors working legally are required to display their CCB license number in advertising so consumers can easily verify they are legitimate.”

To verify licenses:

  • Visit www.oregon.gov/ccb.
  • Enter the license number or name in the orange “Search” feature.
  • Verify that the license is “active,” that the contractor carries the endorsement for residential work, and that the name and other information on the license matches the contractor you are considering.
  • Call 503-378-4621 for help searching or understanding the results.

Contractors and consumers can report unlicensed contractors and other illegal activity on the CCB’s website or by calling 503-934-2246.

In looking for contractors, the CCB advises consumers to get references from friends and neighbors, or others in the construction industry, such as supply stores. Contractors seeking work through online lists must include their CCB number in all advertising. However, the CCB advises consumers against relying on online references alone.

The CCB has a variety of consumer tools on its website, including a Consumer Guide to Selecting and Working With A Contractor. View details of the recent national operation here.

Summer paving scams under way - 06/25/18

Beware offers that are too-good-to-be-true

Salem – The Construction Contractors Board (CCB) is investigating the season’s first reports of paving scams across the state.

“Homeowners should be wary of people who knock on the door and make an offer to pave a driveway at an unrealistic price,” Lead Investigator Eric McLauchlin said.

The CCB is looking into recent reports of scams in the rural areas north of Salem. Typically, someone comes to the door, says they have leftover supplies from other work in the neighborhood, drops the name of a neighbor, then makes a lowball offer to pave a driveway. They are often ready to start immediately, which doesn’t allow the customer time to reconsider.

The scammer takes money up front and then performs shoddy work with low-grade materials. Often, they return to demand more money through intimidation.

“Please contact the CCB if you suspect construction scams in your area,” McLauchlin said.

Call the CCB at 503-934-2229. You can also report scams to local law enforcement agencies.

Scam suspects are often unlicensed, but not always. The CCB is currently looking into reports of a known “traveler” – someone that is based out of state and shows up seasonally. These are often families with male and female participants.

Consumers can look up a contractor on the CCB website to see if they are actively licensed and whether complaints have been filed against them. Visit www.oregon.gov/ccb. The easiest and most accurate way to search is to type the contractor’s CCB license number in the orange “Search” feature.

Nearly all home improvement work requires a CCB license, meaning the contractor has a bond and insurance that offer some protection to consumers.