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Locksmith Scammers

Our industry is plagued by a large number of phony locksmith firms that have been taking advantage of customers for years. These “scammers” are not licensed by the state of New Jersey and typically operate out of personal unmarked vehicles. They are dispatched by companies with nothing more that a large Yellow Page ad or internet presence, a bank of phones and a list of people to send out to customers. There are literally hundreds of dishonest individuals out there that have been posing as locksmiths without training, licensing, or insurance. Unfortunately, these individuals are only interested in charging as much as they possibly can on every job. Stories of people being charged $150 to $200 for a simple car door unlocking are all too common. Many elderly people have been taken advantage off in far worse ways – a simple lock repair that should have cost less that $200 has actually been billed for $1700 or more.

There have been so many complaints to local and federal law enforcement that several state Attorney Generals have taken action against these scammers. Even the post office has recently become involved when it was discovered that one scammer outfit received money from their “locksmiths” via the post office in the form of money orders.

This is a very serious problem since most people tend to call the locksmith with the biggest yellow page ad or those who come up first in an internet search thinking that they should be reliable - when in fact many of these giant ads are placed by the very people who are the scammers you need to avoid.

There is a common thread to the bait and switch approach of these scammers. You will see a very low price in the web ad or will call and be quoted a very low price. $29 locksmith service is a common one. Unknown to the caller is that this is a very low service call rate and that the final bill including time onsite and material cost will be many, many times more than the initially quoted $29.

There are some precautions you can take:

1. Ask if the locksmithing firm is licensed by the state of New Jersey. Ask for the license number (which you can check at the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs web site)
2. Ask what the total price is: trip or service charge AND time onsite and material.
3. Ask if the locksmith will be in a marked company vehicle.
4. When the locksmith arrives ask for ID and proof of employment (a company invoice, business card, NJ license, etc.)
5. Before the locksmith begins work again ask for a firm estimate. For larger jobs you could request a written estimate.

There have been many local and national news stories about phony locksmiths. Please search on the internet and check reliable news sources from ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, CNBC, AARP or others for additional information on this problem.

You can be assured that at Pop-A-Lock you will never be subjected to any of these predatory practices.

Depend upon Pop-A-Lock to be your Trusted Locksmith.