Scam Ad Type 1
This person advertises to perform a specialty services that is regulated by the State. They typically do not know what is legally required to perform that trade service. They have limited experience within the trade and is usually unemployed.
There are several reasons they may be unemployed, for example:
A. Unreliable worker
B. Poor job skills
C. Failed alcohol / drug testing
D. No respect for authority
E. Poor driving record
They are looking for an easy way to make some money and do not have your best interest at heart.
This person offers a Cheaper Price.
No License information is mentioned in the advertisement.
Scam Ad Type 2
This person has some experience in the trade and is either no longer employed or is working a "side job". They know what is required to be legal, but don't want any of the liability or long term responsibility. They aren't going to bother with all the "red tape" (or can't because they have a real job and don't want to be fired because most companies don't tolerate employees doing side jobs). They have no respect or loyalty to their employer, so don't expect any being extended to you.
They will try to convince you to hire them based on their extensive knowledge.
They will dance around the License questions and change the subject.
This person makes up a catchy company name that sounds legitimate and offers cheaper prices than the big companies.
The ad will say "EPA Certified", "License Available Upon Request", "Journeyman" or a fictitious number that looks legitimate, i.e.... 62199EE52.
A little research will soon reveal that the company name or license is non-existent.
Scam Ad Type 3
This person is dangerous. They have had a previous business, license, employees and it failed. Usually the business license with the city and the State specialty license is expired. There could be a trail of unpaid suppliers and unanswered customers complaints.
They will advertise as if nothing is wrong, knowing good and well that they are operating illegally. They will risk their freedom and don't care if they damage your property or complete the project if you give a deposit.
The only thing worse than this person is one that has been ordered by the State to "Cease and Desist". In other words, they have had their license revoked by a court and have been issued a decree by the State forbidding them to engage in this field of work, in any form.
This person typically changes their business name (and phone number) on average, about every three or four months.
They will continue to resurface until enough formal complaints are filed, compelling the the State to put end their scam. Eventually, they are fined heavily and/or incarcerated. But for you, it's usually too late for any recourse or refunds.
These ads almost say something contemptuous in the License area or they will say "Upon Request", which they always refuse to provide.
Once you determine their true identity, the negative information is easy to find.