A dozen people were caught up in a sting operation last week in Redding conducted by the Contractors State License Board. With the cooperation of the Shasta and Tehama County District Attorney’s Offices, CSLB Fraud Team members posed as owners of a 3-bedroom home as they invited bids on home improvement work. Jobs included tree removal, interior painting, deck construction, concrete and fencing with bids ranging from $600 to $9,000. In California, any job costing $500 or more requires a contractors license. Penalties for a first conviction can be up to 6 months in jail and up to $5,000 in fines. Among the 12 people facing misdemeanor charges, one of them was using a revoked license number and nine could face an additional misdemeanor for illegal advertising. Even with a licensed contractor, customers should not be asked to provide a down payment of more than 10% or $1,000, whichever is less. Licenses can be checked at cslb.ca.gov.