It seems we talk about locksmith scams way too much. The Palm Beach Daily News just reported that the Palm Beach Police arrested a man posing as a locksmith. He was unlicensed and taking locksmith calls and referring the calls out to bidders. Some of the locksmiths would even show up and claim they were from the company that took the call. This was not the case.
This kind of thing happens all the time In New York probably more than anywhere else in the country. There is a lot of money in the locksmith business because people are often vulnerable and have their guard down. They just want in, whether it’s their home or car. It’s an embarrassing situation because usually the caller locked themselves out.
Many call centers have gone up claiming to be locksmiths. Some scammers set up hundreds of bogus locksmith websites and try to get them ranked in Google and other search engines. The more visibility, the more calls they get. When a call comes in, the scammer then sends it out to freelancers who do the work. Many of these freelancers are not licensed and will often damage property and bill the customer for it.
In previous blog posts, we have recommended steps consumers can take when hiring a locksmith. The most important? Find a locksmith before you need one. Now is the time to research locksmith professionals. Go through Google and find one that is licensed, has good customer reviews in Yelp, Citysearch and Angie’s List. Even call them on the phone or, better yet, drive by to make sure they have a storefront. Once you find one you like, put their number in a few places you will need it if you get locked out. The first place is in the speed dial of your mobile phone.
For more ideas on how to find a good locksmith, read through our blog.