Houston Locksmith CONSUMER BEWARE Locksmith Houston Scamms
HOW TO TAKE ACTION AGAINST LOCKSMITH SCAMS
Below are links to various news outlets, consumer protection agencies and state Attorney General offices addressing the issue of locksmith scams. The story is familiar in many states: an out-of-state company hires a number of unscrupulous individuals in the area to sub-contract its work using assumed business names, fake addresses and phone numbers. Many times consumers have been over-sold, under serviced, or just plain lied to!nnThe Illinois Attorney General filed criminal charges against a New York locksmith operation for setting up phony storefronts with unlicensed individuals practicing locksmithing that lead consumers to believe they were dealing with local companies. The action was successful, and the company was ordered to pay thousands in restitution, to cease operations and to no longer do business in the state under a new name or any of the 25 different names the company had been using in local telephone directories!nnALOA encourages locksmiths who are facing this same situation to go to their state's Attorney General who can take the appropriate legal action against these fraudulent companies. ALOA recently sent a letter to all Attorneys General urging them to pursue this matter in their state. To contact your state's Attorney General.
There are a number of blogs, postings and general online chatter lately about the continued threat of “phony locksmiths” Otherwise known as scammers degrading our industry. Many locksmiths have come up with ways to combat the problem.nn1st Choice Locksmith has taken steps to help raise the issue before the public and proper authorities.nFrom the beginning, ALOA (Associated Locksmiths of America) has recognized that the first short-term strategy for us is to make locksmiths and the public aware of the issue. nnOnly through education can we teach people to be wary of the 1000 listings in the phone book when the population of their city is only 400! Websites such as ALOA (Associated Locksmiths of America)
find A locksmith are a great way for the consumer to get a legitimate security professional. Three years ago ALOA (Associated Locksmiths of America) set up a website for locksmiths and consumers to explain the problem and give them the resources to notify the proper authorities.
ALOA (Associated Locksmiths of America) feels the long-term solution is found in locksmith licensing. Many of the states with current laws are changing their advertising requirements and fine structure to really address the issue of the false addresses (California and Texas). And the current locksmith licensing bills in Florida, Georgia, Maryland and Oregon also include such language. Federal Trade Commission Issues Consumer Alert: "The Key to Picking A Reputable Locksmith"
If you are one of the many consumers who have recently been taken advantage of by a "phony locksmith", this page will take you directly to your state's Attorney General Consumer Protection website where you may file a complaint. These "phony locksmith" companies purposely manipulate phone book and Internet listings with multiple false addresses and phone numbers to make it seem like a neighborhood business. In actuality, consumers are calling out-of-state operations that are not locksmith companies. The consumer is quoted a reasonable price over the phone, but when a person posing as a locksmith finishes the job, the consumer is charged a considerable amount more for unnecessary and/or sub-standard work. The complaint heard most often by consumers is for car openings. The price quoted over the phone to stranded motorist is around $45. When the individual arrives and unlocks the car, he hands the motorist a bill for $135 - $150. This unscrupulous individual tells the frustrated consumer that the $45 was just the service call and that it was another $90 - $100 for servicing the lock. ALOA has record of a number of incidents of elderly consumers locked out of their homes and being charged $900 to $1700 to replace a $12 lock. These out-of-state operations are set up solely to make money by purposely defrauding the public. Click on your state below to be taken directly to a website that will provide you all the information you need to file a complaint. If you were a victim of a phony locksmith who’s contact information you received off the Internet, contact the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center.