This article is being reprinted by permission of the original author, Ric Moore, and theBoard for Professional Engineers,Land Surveyors, and Geologists (BPELSG).

BPELSG, with the help of several licensees, has investigated and monitored the activities associated with a small group of unlicensed individuals in the Southern California region who have deceived multiple property owners by representing themselves as legitimately authorized to perform land surveying services and providing those services in a manner that directly fails to meet the standards which the public can rely upon. While initially successful with disciplining the couple of licensees that were formally aiding and abetting the unlicensed practice, BPELSG has spent considerable effort and expense over the last several years towards investigating these unlicensed individuals.

This group has changed company names several times while maintaining a core group of individuals that are not authorized to practice in this manner. BPELSG has multiple investigations in progress on these individuals and continue to try and work with the Attorney General’s office on these matters. BPELSG has traveled and met with local law enforcement agencies and local offices of state investigation services seeking assistance only to be turned away with limited or no support due to various reasons.

Recently, we began receiving reports that these individuals have changed their tactics and are now allegedly representing themselves, falsely and without authorization, as legitimately licensed practitioners and the firms that these practitioners are employed by. These reports are more alarming due to the increased nature of deception being employed towards harming the health, safety, and welfare of the public not to mention the reputation of the legitimate licensed practitioners and firms that strive to serve the citizens of California.

BPELSG strongly recommends that each licensee and engineering or land surveying firm immediately confirm the security of your license and how your firm is currently portrayed to the public. This may come in the form of receiving calls from individuals that state that you or your firm has performed work for them recently and these individuals or the properties are unknown to you. There are even reports of monuments being tagged with the license number of a legitimate licensee without their knowledge and not under their responsible supervision.

If you or your firm believes your name, license, or firm name has been compromised and falsely represented as performing land surveying services, BPELSG recommends that you immediately contact your local law enforcement for support and advice. In addition, the more incidents that BPELSG is made aware of, the more likely it is for BPELSG to convince local law enforcement and state investigations that this is a real problem that needs attention. BPELSG is here to assist the public, the licensee, and local enforcement in any way we can in this matter. If you have any questions or wish to alert BPELSG of an incident that you are aware of, please send a quick email with contact information to BPELSG.Enforcement.Information@dca.ca.gov

Thank you,

Ric Moore
Executive Officer
Board for Professional Engineers,Land Surveyors, and Geologists
(916) 263-2230
Ric.moore@dca.ca.gov

Wendell Harness, PLS

Wendell was a Land Surveyor for 26 years, then moved on to building websites for his second career. But he never lost sight of the surveying community and the other disciplines related to surveying. He’s purposely stayed involved in the surveying industry because he has always been — and will continue to be — a Land Surveyor at heart.

View all posts by Wendell Harness, PLS

5 comments on “Unlicensed Group Deceives California Property Owners

  1. To me, this is not surveying without a license. It is consumer fraud, plain and simple. I would think some of the people who were scammed would have raised enough of a ruckus that the authorities would have gotten involved.

  2. Quite frankly, the practice is very common around here for companies to hire a licensee to "review estimates, and be responsible charge". What they really are is a signature for hire. Why anyone would assume that amount of liability for a couple of bucks is beyond me. i believe it speaks to their character. If you want to drive a car, go get a license. if you want to be a surveyor, Go get a license.

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