During an undercover sting operation by the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) in the North County, 18 people were cited for unlicensed contracting.
The operation took place on Feb. 8 and 9.
Four of them were repeat offenders, according to CSLB.
A list of suspected unlicensed contractors were contacted by investigators from CSLB's Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT) to place bids for landscaping, fence installation, painting and other home improvement projects for a house in Oceanside.
According to CSLB, it is illegal to place bids higher than $500 for any projects, unless the individual is licensed.
“People will promote themselves as having years of experience, but it is illegal to charge over $500 unless they are licensed by CSLB," said CSLB Registrar Cindi Christenson.
CSLB said one of the repeat offenders filled out a bid for $13,000, another placed a bid for $4,000.
Sixteen suspects were cited with the misdeanor charge for illegal advertising.
"It is important that consumers do their own research and check the license first," Christenson said.