BROOKLYN - Authorities say they busted 12 unlicensed contractors in a citywide sting operation, including two in Brooklyn.

According to officials, Benson Roofing and S.A. Construction were among the unlicensed crews that were caught.

The Department of Consumer Affairs says workers who lack proper licenses can put homeowners at risk for unsafe construction, unfinished projects and big expenses.

Homeowners are urged to always use a licensed home improvement contractor, obtain at least three references before hiring anyone and get a written estimate from several different companies to make sure they're getting a good price.

Also, homeowners are advised against paying contractors in cash.