County Warns Residents of Contractor Scams

Today, around 11:40 a.m., a tornado touched down near the Samara Lakes and TrailMark subdivisions within St. Johns County. Multiple properties in the area received damage from the tornado. St. Johns County damage assessment teams will be in the area conducting assessments tomorrow, April 12.  

Following a disaster, qualified property repair contractors are in high demand, making conditions ideal for contractor scams. St. Johns County urges residents to protect themselves from these scams by using the following tips:

  • Contact your insurance company before signing any contracts.
  • Be wary of anyone who approaches you unsolicited or says they can perform your repairs at a discount with leftover supplies from another job.
  • Get multiple estimates.
  • Verify the contractor has a license from the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) or by visiting
  • Research the company and its reputation – ask for references. Contact the Florida Attorney General’s Office at 1-866-966-7226 to see if there are complaints against a company or contractor.
  • Check for proof of insurance and/or bonding and verify that its policy is current.
  • Never pay the full amount of a repair up front and give consideration before providing large deposits.
  • Ensure the all the proper permits have been obtained prior to starting repairs. For questions on whether a repair requires a permit, call the St. Johns County Building Department at 904-827-6800.
  • Read the entire contract, including the fine print, before signing and ensure that the contract includes the required “buyer’s right to cancel” (usually within three days) language.
  • Homeowners may unknowingly have liens placed against their properties by suppliers or subcontractors who have not been paid by the contractor. If the contractor fails to pay them, the liens will remain on the title. Insist on releases of any liens that could be placed on the property from all subcontractors prior to making final payments.
  • Do not sign a certificate of completion or make final payment until you are satisfied with the work performed.

For any questions, residents can call the St. Johns County Building Department at 904-827-6800 or St. Johns County Emergency Management at 904-824-5550.

For more information, follow St. Johns County Emergency Management on Facebook ( and X, formerly Twitter (