Locksmith scammer caught on video


Best reason to get to know your local locksmith under non emergency conditions.


It isn’t the most reliable technique; but a practiced operator can usually apply a fair amount of social pressure, particularly to someone already stressed, distracted, etc. without any ‘real’ advantage over them. Additional leverage is helpful; but often unnecessary.

Doesn’t work on a determined adversary, an ardent rules-lawyer, or the like; but most people aren’t that, especially if they went into the situation with a presumption of decency and fair play.


I can’t concentrate on the locksmith’s argument in this video because THE DUDE IS SMOKING IN A GAS STATION.


Also, don’t lie to a real locksmith about having an emergency.

A locksmith I met told of being called to an emergency lockout - a man had locked himself out while food was cooking on the stove. The locksmith arrived and picked open the deadbolt, then inquired about the stove. The homeowner said, “Oh, I just said that to get you to hurry.” So the locksmith then picked the deadbolt closed, said “No charge” and left the homeowner locked out of his house.

Don’t know if the story is true, but it ought to be. :slight_smile:


This is one of many reasons I love AAA. I’ve got an older RV and have a premium plan because of it. It’s more than paid for itself.


They should try this on me.


You can just call them and video the result… you’ll still owe the base fee, though, even if you manage to intimidate them out of a higher one.


I would probably get in trouble, and I would not want to deliberately commit actions that would lead to my threatening or intimidating someone.


A couple of weeks ago the front door handle to my apartment came off. The only way to get in was remove it completely and rely on the deadbolt for locking the door. My landlord sent around a locksmith to put the door handle back together from the pieces I’d disassembled. After three minutes of fiddling he says, “it’s broke, I’ll install a new one … $250”. I said, “show me the piece that’s broke.” He couldn’t. I said, “I’m not convinced it’s broke, I think you just don’t know how it goes back together.” He said, “it’s the same thing.” No, no it’s not. Finally he says I owe him $80 for the call out. I said forget it, I’m not paying you not to reassemble my lock. The guy stormed off.


Back when I lived in dodgy slum share housing, it was standard practice on the first day to deliberately lock yourself out and then break in.

This served two purposes:

  1. Figuring out how to avoid paying a locksmith when the inevitable lost key incident happened, and

  2. Figuring out where we needed to improve the security.

Tip: lock your upstairs windows. And make sure that you aren’t using locks that can be defeated just by wiggling the window frame.


that doesn’t work though. The NY Times showed that they’re even faking google maps.


One of the ways to avoid this, in the US and I think Canada, ask for there Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA) number. In the UK ask for their MLA (Master Locksmiths Association) info.

If they don’t have them, don’t expect them to know what they are doing.

Also don’t trust google maps or other street views to see if the company is legit, the NY Times has shown how easy to fake them (see my comment to Skeptic).

This site has good information on how to find a good locksmith too.


It does work, because I used Street View specifically and didn’t just rely on a Google Maps pin. By looking at Street View photos I could see whether or not there was an actual locksmith storefront at the listed address, as in a real brick-and-mortar store.

The NY Times story talks about lots of fake pins, and an instance where a locksmith faked a physical location by photoshopping a sign on to a storefront on photo on their website. However when I looked up my local locksmith I made sure I could see their actual brick-and-mortar store sign on Google Street View itself, not on some fakable locksmith website.

By doing this I found the actual local locksmith in my area. Your other advice is helpful, though. And just checking Google maps without properly checking street view for a matching store and sign is highly likely to get you a scammer.


This is the line about google maps I remember most about the article: “Avi looked up that address in Google Maps, he saw in the bottom left-hand corner a street-view image of the same pinkish building at the end of a retail strip.”

Which is saying that street-view’s tile showing the same brick and mortar.


Not quite.

If you take the time to carefully read my posts it’s clear I’m very specific that merely locating a building at the claimed address is not how I’m using Street View. You have to find the locksmith’s sign on the storefront using Street View and it has to match the listing. In the New York Times story a building could be seen at the claimed address on Street View, but no sign for the company. The purported sign was only visible in a Photoshoped photo on the fake locksmith’s website, and not in the Google Street View photos.


Check out the podcast “Reply All” last week they did a special on scams and fake locksmiths.


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