By Calvin at 09:05 GMT, 5 years ago
This important information was recently issued by our friends at the Master Locksmiths Association
We’re unfortunately seeing an increasing number of instances where websites and companies are being set up with names that are very similar, or in some instances are exactly the same, as long standing locksmith companies. This seems to be particularly prevalent where the company’s name refers to a geographical location, so where a town is used before the term locksmiths for example.
Other instances where companies are trying to fool customers into thinking they’re somebody they’re not is when they’re advertising using the address of a legitimate company. They tend to use generic locksmith type names such as The Lock Shop and then an address, which a legitimate locksmith trades out of.
How does a legitimate locksmith know they’re being scammed?
The first the company knows is a phone call, or somebody coming into their shop asking them about a job they haven’t done. A lot of the time the customer wants to complain about how bad a job had been done!
So not only has the customer been duped but so has the legitimate company. The customer may think they’re using a bone fide, well established, locally vetted, inspected and qualified locksmith when actually they have no idea who they’ve used, due to misleading advertising or naming of companies.
A Recent Scary Example
One particularly disturbing example provided by one of our members is where work was done in a school by people purporting to be from their company, who were in fact nothing to do with them. They even signed in under the name of the legitimate company! The potential ramifications of having unknown, probably un-vetted people in a school environment are terrifying.
So what can customers do to protect themselves from these scammers?
The answer is to always double check who it is you’re dealing with. Get to know your local locksmith and put their details in your phone. If they’re an MLA licensed locksmith then you can easily check their details against their page on the MLA website. Ask the locksmith for ID and then verify their details. A legitimate locksmith will have no problem in you doing this, a scammer may struggle!
I’ve just been in touch with the MLA for some extra information and this is what they’ve told me:
- All of the approved company members have a license number (which can be found on their page on the MLA website) – so people can ask what that number is and if in doubt check all details on our site or by contacting us.
- Although it’s not mandatory the majority of MLA Company members carry an ID card, which will display the company details, their photo and the MLA Logo, so you can check these details against their entry on the MLA website.
It seems that non MLA members are also being scammed, so the overriding message is always to double check the credentials of people you have engaged before they carry out work for you.
You know it makes sense!
Master Locksmiths Association: http://www.locksmiths.co.uk/