Bad Fish: Fake Locksmiths Bringing Ill Repute to Locksmith Community

If you rely solely on the Internet and don't care to check the credentials, you might find yourself wronged by "locksmiths".  Once you have any bad experience with "locksmiths", you tend to have a bad perception of the entire community of security professionals.

As part of the locksmith community, I urge you to be more vigilant when hiring a locksmith. Please don't generalize your poor experience with the rest of the US locksmiths, who are dedicated to providing the best services.

In the US, most states require that only licensed locksmiths can operate and serve the public. There are norms and regulations for locksmiths and all professionals follow them. But that is not true for scam artists and fake locksmiths.

Thanks to the Internet, anyone can start advertising their services as a locksmith. The Internet has little check on individual operations. One can set up a website and start soliciting business as "locksmith". One does not require a license to start a website, which holds true for locksmith websites on the Internet.

Working of Fake Locksmiths

If one intends to start posing as locksmith without any license, the working pattern is very simple.

1. Get a website, which is fairly cheap
2. Advertise on search & other places
3. Start appearing in search engines to drive business queries
4. Take job assignments
5. Offer misleading quotes over the phone
6. Once on site, ask for a higher price citing various reasons
7. Destroy the lock or other equipment, and charge high price for equipment

With such fake locksmiths, you cannot be sure of proper locksmith service. They might manage to open your car door or break open your lock. This is not the standard procedure followed by professionals. All locksmith pros will try to find the right solution which is least damaging for your property. Breaking open a lock is the last solution, but fake locksmiths will simply destroy your existing lock as they might not even have the skill to properly handle the lock. In addition, breaking the lock means you have to buy a replacement from them. This generates more money for them. Of course, leaving you disgruntled and feeling cheated.

Real, professional locksmiths with valid license will never do this. All of them will also have a physical store in your locality. They will display their licenses prominently and you can easily verify the same to ascertain their credentials.

Next time you need a locksmith, check for the license of the locksmith beforehand. Stay safe!