Bogus locksmiths on the rise

Many of us have experienced that ‘panicky’ moment when find we’ve ourselves locked out of our home or vehicle, or that we’ve lost our keys. We have to get through the emotions of shame (at being so dumb as to lock ourselves out) and embarrassment, then our minds whirl quickly as we think of an appropriate solution to our predicament.

Some of us have the foresight to leave keys with friends and neighbours we can trust, but many of us don’t (believing we’d never be so dumb as to lock ourselves out anyway). Many of us need to get into where we are locked out of quickly – contacting said friends and neighbours is likely to take too long.

So, when the panic has subsided, we search for solutions, and the most popular solution is to contact a local locksmith.

Bogus locksmiths on the riseNaturally, finding a suitable trustworthy locksmith requires something of a leap of faith. When we’re locked out we don’t usually have time to sit down and google half-a-dozen local locksmith sites, reading reviews and perusing testimonials. We want to be in, and we want normality returned as soon as possible.

So, we trust the first locksmith we can find if we’ve no other option, and this is where the leap of faith comes into play. You are – in effect – giving someone access to your home, and – more importantly – your home’s security. If your new locksmith fits a brand new lock, then how can you be sure that they won’t keep a key to your new lock themselves? What stops them from passing on that key to local thieves, who can case your home a few weeks later until you leave, then enter and steal from you when you’re not around? How do you go about explaining ‘no signs of forced entry’ to your local law enforcement officers and your insurance company?

Thankfully, the majority of locksmiths are perfectly legitimate; however, since the advent of the internet, the number of ‘bogus’ locksmiths is on the rise.

All a bogus locksmith needs is an internet site, an address, and a contact telephone number. If you see a site on the World Wide Web that has an address, you’d think you were dealing with a legitimate organisation. However, a bogus locksmith will give any address – a vacant office, an anonymous apartment block or even your local Burger King!

Even if these bogus locksmiths do not have nefarious intentions, the phone number you ring – although looking like a local number – will instead connect you to a national call centre. This call centre has a network of local sub-contractors who operate without premises, training or certification.

Bogus locksmiths on the rise (2)Once they arrive, they will often explain that the job is more complicated than they originally thought, and they will ‘offer’ to charge you more than they originally quoted. Most people, who would be otherwise forced to re-start the whole ‘find a locksmith’ process again, feel they’ve no option to pay the jacked-up price.

Avoiding bogus locksmiths is not difficult – just be prepared. Find a reputable locksmith and keep their details in your phone, purse or wallet. Should you ever then be unfortunate enough to require their services, you can be sure you’re dealing with a legitimate business.