You’d think that finding a good Toronto locksmith would be fairly straightforward, right? As with everything else you need to find, you’d simply Google the words “Toronto locksmith.” Then, without hesitation, you’d call one of the companies listed near the top of the page. Your choice might be based on the best price, the closest location, or a combination of both of these factors.
But don’t be fooled.
There are thousands of locksmith scam artists across Canada and the U.S., and it would appear that Toronto has more than its fair share. So before you conduct your search for a Toronto locksmith, read on…
How the scam works
Questionable businesses, called “lead generators,” create websites for locksmith companies that don’t actually exist. They submit local business listings to Google, sometimes even including a photo of a fake storefront. Then to make the listing look real, they add fake reviews using fake Google accounts.
(Read more about lead generators in this 2011 New York Times article: “Picking the Lock of Google’s Search.”)
When the unsuspecting victim calls one of these numbers, he’ll be talking to a call centre. And when the “Toronto locksmith” is in the middle of the job, the price to replace a simple lock will suddenly skyrocket into hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
- The scammer often removes the lock and then demands more than the original quote. The customer doesn’t want to be left without a working lock, so feels he has no choice but to agree.
- The scammer might claim they can only accept payment in cash. This leaves the customer with no way to dispute the charge later.
- If the victim refuses to pay, threats and bullying tactics often follow. In some cases, the phony locksmith even refuses to hand back the customer’s credit card.
There are many reports of victims being left with damaged property. Identity theft is also something to be aware of.
Here’s another N.Y. Times article which documents some real-life cases: Fake Online Locksmiths May Be Out to Pick Your Pocket Too.
Warning signs to watch out for
- Suspiciously low prices. $10 and $15 prices are unrealistic for any real business.
- Answering the phone with something generic, such as “Locksmith” or “Locksmith services.” Legitimate businesses always answer with their own business name.
- A reluctance to provide an exact quote over the phone. It should be clear cut. And if they won’t answer all of your questions, that should be a red flag too.
For an honest, dependable Toronto locksmith service, contact http://atozlocksmith.ca. We’ve been in business since 2009 providing emergency services as well as scheduled appointments.
Call 647-862-7602 to make an appointment!
Some of the reasons why A to Z Locksmith stands head and shoulders above the crowd:
- We’ve been in business in the Toronto area since 2009.
- Our customers think we’re pretty special – check out our reviews.
- We’re available by appointment or in an emergency.
- Our services cover residential, commercial and vehicle needs.
- We also offer a wide range of commercial door repair and installation services.
Your safety and security is our business! Call today for a quote.