From Rip-Off Report:
This story is from 12-1-2006 but it seems it has taken the media quite a while to catch up on this scam happening.
The locksmith ripoffs are REAL!!!
These counterfiet locksmiths are real. They are nationwide and spreading like cockroaches. I am The Vice President of the Illinois Indiana Locksmith Association and have bee tracking these gypse type ripoffs for more then two years. They have been impersonating locksmiths all over the country. It is so large and almost Mind boggling how widespread these phonys are. The are in every major city in the US. there are many of these companys springing up all over the nation and they are all some how related to each other. The common denominator is that they all appear to be Israeli run. Most of the employees are here on tourist visas. There have been some in texas that were arressted for acting as locksmiths without a license and it was found out their visas were expired and they were deported.
They are not small individual locksmiths but rather large organized crime type outfits.
the actual people who come out to homes to do the dirty work are employees that have been trained to ripoff the consumer. The actions and mo of all the individuals seem the same. They are taught to rip off the consumer by the big dog scum that run these outfits. There general scam is to qoute a service call price of usually 55.00 and then up the charge when they get there. they routinly will drill house locks and actually charge you extra to destroy the locks so they can rip you off some more by selling you a 5.00 crap lock for 100.00 or even 200.00. they use bait and switch pricing.
Verizon has deleted almost 100,000 phony locksmith listings from there online directory in the past year. They have also about a week or two ago actually separated there advertising from the phone company portion of the business. The new company is now called idearc. I can only assume this is a logical action to avoid the possible liability of what is going on.
If you want to do a test go to smartpages.com and search for locksmith and choose a city and or state. Example if you search locksmith and Pensylvania the first 1000 listings and even more are all two different scam locksmith companys. The addresses are all fraudulant. Try Miami florida, las angelas ca, and many other large citys you will see the same thing.
These phony companys are raking in millions each year. One of the newyork companys it has been said they are making 20 million a year.
I spoke to one of the employees at a state court hearing here in chicago. I was told by this scammer employee while engaging in some friendly intelligence gathering conversation that they have inside people at the yellow pages and they receive hugh discounts for the large full page ads they are placing in citys across the nation.
This is one of the scary parts they have a near monopoly on the cell phone 411 system. They have filled the data bases with so many phony address listings in most major citys that when you call 411 on your cell phone ( which most people do now)
you will get the same counterfiet locksmiths over and over again. you could ask for 10 listings and they will all be one of these scammers or another with some local adress that is phony. they use thousands of different names also. It is always the same 55.00 service qouted for a lockout and after they unlock your stuff the price goes much higher. These companys are really not in the rural areas but the are in just about all major citys from coast to coast and from top to bottom.
Some of these companys are as follows
superb solutions- Now known as Dependable lock
this company is in the bronx new york.
some of their aliasis
always available locksmith
( the citys go on and on with websites that use the citys name then a dash and then locksmith.com)
they use hundreds of other names such as:
locksmith 24 hour inc.
24 hour locksmith
the names just keep going on.
These companys almost always ask for your zip code.
The next company.
USA Locksmith- aka prestige business solutions
teanick - New Jersey
many of their names look like this.
#0#0#0 emergency locksmith
01 01 01 24 hour locksmith
# 1 3 1 000 locksmith
there are an untold amount of combinations like this.
in the detroit suburban area they are using common names such as oniels family locksmith, townsquare locksmith, and many more.
This company has untold thousands of phony addresses and listings all across the united states.
Another company is called:
Golden locksmith solutions - Chamblee georgia a suburb outside of atlanta.
They use names such as :
24x7 locksmith and others
THESE ARE JUST THREE THERE ARE MORE!!!
IF you want to see a collection of some of the news storys around the country you are welcome to go to http://www.aloa.org/and click the phony locksmith link on the home page and it will give you a page full of news links all over the country.
ALOA stands for associated locksmiths of America.
Unfortunatly some of these scam outfits are using the alao logo in their ads. we are currently trying to stop this.
Some of their full page ads say they belong to the american locksmith association and there is no such association.
I am sorry this rebuttal was long but this is about as short as I can make it and it is just the tip of the iceburg.
I am a locksmith and I tell you our industry is under seige by con-artists. It seemed to have statrted in new york.
Some of these companys are also in the following businesses.
Towing ( from what ive seen on the east coast)
THE common Denominater is they all seem to be Israeli foriegners.
Make sure you go to aloa.org and you will see and become a believer that this is real and not former disgruntled employees or the compitition.
____________________________________________________________In California where I live, all locksmith companies MUST be licensed, and individuals working for LICENSED locksmith companies who have undergone RIGOROUS background checks must also submit to criminal background checks with the Department of Justice and the FBI. Read HERE on those facts.
WARNING: when using a locksmith, it is BEST to go to a locksmith which is KNOWN and in your neighborhood, a locksmith that you have actually SEEN at a location which has been there for quite a while. These Israeli rip-off artists are just that, RIP-OFF ARTISTS. Furthermore, your SAFETY is at stake here. NEVER allow a shady locksmith to come in to your home!
Here is an ABC News story posted on Youtube January 24, 2008 about these SCAM companies.
Here is another report telling you exactly what to look for and the methods these companies are using to scam you. (added to youtube September 23, 2007)
Notice: In this video the woman says she was suspicious because the "locksmith" showed up in an unmarked private car, NO uniform, and requested that the payment be made out to him. If ANY of these things happen to you, first, do NOT let them in, second, if possible, get the license number on their car and make and CALL THE POLICE to notify them because you are NOW armed with this information. (added January 24, 2007)
UPDATE: (I don't know how I missed this article-so just in case you don't think these are ISRAELI locksmith scammers, check this out :