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   A.S.A.P. Lock & Safeon


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Locksmith Scam Consumer Alert Page

The Federal Trade Commission has issued a “Consumer Alert” about a scam occurring across the country with increasingly high incidents in the South Florida area. Unskilled and unscrupulous fake organizations have infiltrated the yellow pages and Internet with false advertising claiming our local TRADEMARK name: A.S.A.P. Locksmith. On any given search query done in Google several results with our name and address are given with a phone number that doesn’t belong to us. Those calls are misguided to out-of-sate hideouts from where the Locksmith scammers contact unauthorized individuals for service calls. A similar situation occurs in the Yellow Pages where there are companies using our name for their unscrupulous profit. A low price is quoted over the phone and many times the lock is destroyed to charge 5 to 10 times more than the quoted price. These criminal locksmiths have no background check. From the South Florida Tri-County area, Miami-Dade requires a Locksmith License and these individuals operate illegally. A.S.A.P. Locksmith has identifiable trucks and uniformed technicians carrying ID’s. If you think you are being scammed immediately contact the police.

Locksmith Scam Modus Operandi

  1. OUT-OF-STATE COMMUNICATION OFFICE: An out-of-state communication office is established to receive phone calls from all parts of the country. “Service Agents” are identified in every major city where the organization operates to be on call for dispatch. Background checks and technical skill tests are not performed when hiring these agents.
  2. FASLE LISTING DISSEMINATION: Thousands of FALSE directory listings are disseminated all over the internet and Yellow Pages; entire teams are hired to solely accomplish this task. Addresses are stolen from real locations without the owner’s consent to be paired with an externally routed local number answered in an out-of-state facility. Existing local locksmiths with an established market are also targeted for Identity Theft, their address and names are stolen and phone calls are also deviated to the organization’s out-of-state calling center.
  3. BAIT ADVERTISING: Deceptive bait advertising is displayed in search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. The most typical type of ad they use is the $15 Service Call offer.
  4. AGENT DISPATCH: Once a customer calls requesting a service the out-of-state office calls the first available agent on their list and asks them for availability, if the answer is yes, said agent will be dispatched to the service location. Almost always these agents arrive late since making the customer wait is part of the bait scheme.
  5. OVERCHARGE: The agent arrives with no uniform and unidentified vehicles to the customer’s location. The $15 Service call and other deceptive form of advertising are not sustainable even for operations like this one, and after opening the lock the agent overcharges the customer up to 10 times ($125-$195) more than the advertised price. Most times the customer ends up paying the amount because he or she is in a vulnerable situation and because time has been invested in waiting for the Locksmith to arrive.


5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Locksmith

The reality is you need to protect yourself from unscrupulous operations claiming to be professional locksmiths that don’t conduct business in the right manner. There are thousands of news reports, in television, print, and online media, covering the widespread locksmith scams affecting the whole country and South Florida, and this page is dedicated to gathering all the information to educate consumers. In the meantime, It’s very important you protect yourself and do your due diligence when hiring a locksmith, and by asking this 5 questions, you’ll know if you are talking to a scammer or to a real locksmith.

  1. What’s the name of your company?
  2. Do you have a Local Shop, where is it?
  3. Is all your work guaranteed?
  4. Are you licensed?
  5. Will you charge what you quoted in advance?
What’s the name of your company?

Locksmith scammers who operate outside of your city answer the phone with a generic phrase like "Locksmith Good Morning" because they advertise in many cities with as many different false names so they have to use a generic greeting to cover them all. A genuine locksmith always answers with their name first, for example: "Thanks for calling ASAP Locksmith™, this is Alex, how can I help you?"

Do you have a Local Shop, where is it?

Locksmith Scammers don’t publish the address of their operations office in their website, nor in any of the places where they advertise. And the reason is very simple, they can’t assume responsibility for any of the agents they send to the field nor for the work they do. A genuine locksmith has a local shop in the city where you live where you can reach them directly with any inquiry.

Is all your work guaranteed?

Locksmith Scammers do not guarantee the quality of the work they assign to their agents. As a matter of fact they don’t even perform background checks, nor technical skill tests, to any of them. A genuine Locksmith guarantees all their work because they know and trust their employees.

Are you licensed?

Locksmith Scammers are not licensed, nor can they be, since a requirement for obtaining a license is operating in the local area they service. In South Florida only Miami Dade requires a Locksmith License, and all genuine and successful locksmith companies have it, even if they are based in Broward or Palm Beach Counties.

Will you charge what you quoted in advance?

The Locksmith Scammers dispatch office doesn’t quote prices in advance because they have no control over it. Simply, they collect their part, and the agents they dispatch are free to charge whatever they feel like to customers in vulnerable situations. A genuine Locksmith is able to give an accurate because they have a structured price list which is always the same.

Good Locksmith vs Bad Locksmith

How to recognize a Good Locksmith from a Bad Locksmith? Bad Locksmith Good Locksmith
Has a Local Shop No Yes
Has a Locksmith License (where applicable) No Yes
Is Bonded and Insured No Yes
All employees are background checked No Yes
All employees are uniformed No Yes
All employees have company I.D.’s No Yes
Hires highly skilled technicians only No Yes
Has identifiable trucks  with company logo No Yes
Answers the phone identifying company by name No Yes
Quotes prices by phone with integrity No Yes
Is willing to provide company information by phone No Yes
Company Receipts are identified with logo No Yes
Business Model is based on providing great service No Yes
Guarantees all work No Yes
Operates from out-of-state hideout Yes No
Answers the phone with generic term Yes No
Becomes rude or nervous when pushed for information Yes No
Needs to ask long distance agent  if they are available for a job Yes No
Puts you on hold over the phone to check availability of long distance agent Yes No
Offers $15 dollar service calls to then overcharge customer Yes No

Locksmith Scam Links & Resources

File a Locksmith Scam Complaint with the Federal Trade Commission

New York Times: Picking the Lock of Google’s Search

When You Call A Locksmith, Will A Con Man Answer?

Just be honest, OK? Just tell the truth

Federal Trade Commission Guidelines to Hire a Reputable Locksmith

Associated Locksmith of America (ALOA) Locksmith Scam Compendium

Angie’s List Locksmith Scam Alert: 7 Tips to Avoid Locksmith Scams

Locksmith Complaints Are On The Rise

Locksmith Scam Videos

ABC News Story -> "Ruin The Lock to Charge triple the quoted amount"

Minneapolis Locksmith Scam: "There is Plenty of room for competition but not like this"

Seatlle Locksmith Scam: Hidden Camera

Pheonix Locksmith Scam: Hidden Camera

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