Sting Operation Busts Unlicensed Contractors in Humboldt County

SACRAMENTO, CA (February 13, 2024 ) – The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) joined forces with the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office in a recent undercover operation targeting unlicensed contractors.

The sting operation was conducted in the Eureka area during severe storms in early February. It resulted in four individuals receiving a Notice to Appear in criminal court for allegedly conducting contracting activities without the required license. They now face fines and possible jail time.

CSLB and law enforcement officials cited the four individuals for submitting bids that exceeded the legal limit of $500. The bids ranged from $1,400 for an interior paint project to $12,000 for deck work.

According to California law, if unlicensed individuals advertise for construction contracting services, they must clearly state they are unlicensed and cannot bid on a contract for work valued at more than $500, including labor and materials.

“It’s important to hire licensed contractors for any home improvement project, especially after a storm when unlicensed contractors may take advantage of consumers looking to repair their homes,” said David Fogt, CSLB Registrar. “That’s why CSLB educates consumers on how to protect themselves by hiring a licensed contractor – it takes just a few minutes to find a licensed contractor in California.”

After this sting operation, one individual faces an additional recommended obstruction of justice charge. Investigators say this person posted information about the sting operation on social media right after leaving the sting site despite being told not to do so.

For further information or to report suspected unlicensed contractor activities, please visit the CSLB website at or contact CSLB toll-free at 1-800-321-CSLB (2752). For ongoing information and updates from CSLB, connect with us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.