For awhile now, there has been an ongoing situation with bogus locksmiths. They have been in the Industry since 2003. We have seen a dramatic rise in their scams. They Yellow Pages, Goggle, Go Daddy, paper back advertising books . All of the ads portray themselves as being legitimate. They offer a 15 minute response to lure victims by the ads claiming to offer services for $15.00 to $30.00. There is no legitimate Locksmith that would only charge these very low fees to unlock your car, rekey your locks, or do work at your Business. This is how they entice you into believing that you are getting a Locksmith to come out to you, but this is where they will really get you, once they have done the service you have requested, you will be handed a bill quadruple to the amount previously quoted. Some victims have been charged $240.00 or more to unlock a car which a real Locksmith would charge around $60.00, and if you require business services it will cost you thousands. Sandy Springs Locksmith has had their name stolen by fraudulent people claiming to be his business when in fact they are not even certified to hold a screw driver. One victim believing he had contacted the Real Sandy Spring Locksmith was hit with a bill over $1700 to rekey 7 Locks, This service call would have been with in the $200.00 range plus or minus a few dollars by a certified true Locksmith.
You do your searches on the Internet and a list of Locksmiths will pop up and direct you to a web site. The problem with this is that 99% of the first 10 numbers listed will be fraudulent. They guarantee of Certified Technicians and that they are Bonded and Insured. Yes they can say they are Bonded and Insured through their Liability Insurance Company, But not Bonded through Aloa, "Associated Locksmith's of America", which is very confusing to the consumer in need of Emergency help. Most of these fraudulent businesses are run by Israeli owners that will have multiple listings for every county in every state. Same people, different phone numbers and fake addresses. They use the scammed funds to further they crime knowing that they will not get repeat business and even hire individuals to post reviews on their site to give them 5 star ratings ,click on the posters name and you will see they will use the same post for the same day all over the United States. So when you think you are calling a Certified Locksmith you have a 5% chance that you will get the quality service by a trained Locksmith.
There has been an ongoing investigation in regards to these people. The problem is, every year they will change their name and display a new ad. All will be similar stating 15 minute response, 24/7 service, and prices to unlock a car from $15.00 to $29.00. Although very enticing, this can cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars. A simple internet search under locksmith scammers is unreal and so severe that it has turned into Organized Crime throughout the United States. They live on consumer fraud and most people are too embarrassed to even turn them in after they have been scammed. It will take consumer awareness as well as The Locksmith Association to put a stop to these people that have invaded our Country. We all need to report these people, Make it known who they are as well as contact Aloa "Associated Locksmiths of America", The Better Business Bureau, Law enforcement, even the FBI, as well as all your friends and family. Without public awareness this will continue to happen.
Due to their fraudulent practices, false address and false listings they have created a billion dollar Industry from scamming the consumer. All their ads and listings are paid for by scammed funds.
If you are a victim and have been threatened by these people you need to file a police report. The public out cry will put an end to this situation.
This is a Nationwide problem, not limited to any State.
How can you tell if your Locksmith is legitimate?
1) Ask family and friends, YOU will be surprised who they know.
2) A real Locksmith will give you the correct price prior to dispatch, if your are Quoted $60.00 to unlock your car, it will be $60.00 NOT $15.00 or $29.00, or the charges for which tool to use will determine the cost. Yes this was used, Scammers will say the charge depends on which tool is used REDICULOUS. If you need Commercial or Residential work a real Locksmith will be abe to tell you over the phone exactly the price for services that you need.
3) Ask if they have a walk in Office. Scammers are usually from out of state and hire handymen or transport workers from Israel on student Visa's to do there service, they WILL NOT HAVE A WALK IN BUSINESS. If you call them to do service at your residence such as unlocking your house, They will say they have to drill your locks. THIS IS RARE, Real Locksmith can get in your house or car in a matter of minutes without any type of replacement or damage.For a Business they will say your locks need to be replaced as well as damage the property such as locks. If you feel unsure, Than your are most likely correct. You need to ask them to leave. Also be prepared to call law enforcement and have them escorted off your property. I have seen them steal customers locks before.
4) Intuition, if it does not seem right, it most likely is not and refuse the service. If you are threaten in any way, contact the police immediately, this is your right and for your safety.
5) Though some Locksmith's are Mobile only, ask for references on a well known Business's they do services for. All will have regular customers they do work for. SCAMMERS DO NOT.
6) Goggle map the address. Look for their ratings or complaints through the Better Business, Bureau. If it's a real Business, it will display it. If it is in the middle of a road, end of a street. It is fraudulent. And by all means if they have a Foreign accent run away as fast as you can. "UPDATE" they are hiring Americans now so use caution".
7) Add the Certified Locksmith to your cell phone, The Internet, Phone books or any advertising agency is no longer a good source foe emergency help.
8) Check out Angie's List
Don't be fooled. Always ask for an address and look it up. You do this when you search for a Doctor, why not for a Locksmith. You would not hire a Surgeon that his or her help is a Handyman, or would you?
Here is the link for Aloa " Associated Locksmiths of America"
To find a locksmith within you area, This is good for the whole United States.
the Better Business Bureau
you can click on the BBB logo On top left of our home page.
It will take you directly to the BBB site and our ratings.
If I can help 1 person from being scammed, than I have
done what I was set out to do, please watch the news footage that was taken
December 28, 2011 by CBS Channel 46 news here in Atlanta
Jones Lock & Safe and My Company stress how serious this issue is as well as the rise in scamming locksmiths.