Tips: What to watch out for when hiring a locksmith

EDMONTON — There are some scam artists posing as locksmiths, and one business owner is raising the alarm.

Derek Shilling, owner of Dial Locksmiths, said he is hearing about more and more people falling victim to fake locksmiths.

“These guys aren’t locksmiths, they’re scam artists,” said Shilling.

“They’re taking advantage of the naivety of our public. These guys don’t have picks and they don’t know how to pick. They know how to drill.”

Shilling worries that consumers will be overcharged for their services. He said the customer will be told that their average lock is a high-security lock and that it must be drilled open. The con artist will proceed to upsell the unsuspecting customer.

Shilling has a few tips for customers to help avoid such a scenario:

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1)      Research your locksmith. Make sure they have a business licence. Don’t just pick the top hit on a search engine

2)      Ask to see their locksmith licence. Locksmithing is a journeyman trades program that comes with a licence and all true locksmiths have one.

3)      Know your locks. True high security locks cost around $280.  A regular lock should cost around $60-70.

4)      Get a second quote. Call up another business and see if the prices are comparable.

As of June 2010, all locksmiths performing services to the public in Alberta, must be licensed by Alberta’s Solicitor General’s department under the Security Services & Investigators Act (SSIA) and be prepared to show this license on request.

To find a locksmith in Alberta who is part of the Professional Locksmiths Association of Alberta click here.


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