Category Archives: Scams

Make sure you hire a licensed locksmith

For your own piece of mind it’s important to hire a licensed, insured and professional bonded locksmith.

Look for these three things when hiring a locksmith:

  • Licensing: In Connecticut it is required by law for a locksmith to have a valid locksmith license (you can check online to see if a locksmith license has been issued in Connecticut and if it is valid:
    If you don’t see a license number on the locksmith’s website or business card, which by the way is required to be displayed if the state issues licenses, don’t be shy to ask for the license number.
    Unfortunately, states that do not require licensing make it easy for inexperienced and unprofessional individuals to call themselves “locksmiths.” Most of the time these locksmiths do not have the consumer’s best interest at heart, often they’re just scaming unsuspecting people out of money without delivering.
  • Liability Insurance: Insured locksmiths have purchased liability insurance, thereby protecting the client and themselves in case there is any accidental damage to the property.
  • Bonding: Bonded locksmiths undergo a background check to make sure they do not have a criminal history. This assures the consumer that the bonded locksmith is legitimate and that he has the necessary knowledge to make sure the home or business is protected.

Jim Arsenault is a Connecticut licensed Master Locksmith with over 30 years experience. He is licensed, insured, and bonded. Jim repairs and installs locks at your Connecticut home or business and you’ll always be charged a fair price. Email Jim or give him a call at 860-678-9797.

Gas pump universal keys and credit card skimming

With everybody always pressed for time paying at the pump when filling up the gas tank is a great convenience. But be careful, that convenience could cost you!

Gas pumps are a preferred target of credit card skimmers because they are rarely checked by gas station employees. How does a skimming device work? The are just like any other credit card reader, except they fit over the existing slot of the legitimate reader. So when the consumer swipes the card to buy gas the gas pump and the skimmer read the information of the credit card. As soon as the thieve gets the information of your card he/she can start making purchases using your credit card number.

Why is it so easy to install a skimmer in a gas pump? Most pumps use a universal key that opens the gas pump doors, meaning that’s the same key that can be used on a gas pump in Connecticut all the way to California. And of course, these keys are available online. To stop the installation of skimmers, gas station owners have taken to lock the pumps with an additional padlock.

Watch ABC News Nightline video: Credit Card Thieves Caught on Tape Using Skimmers

Anybody can be a locksmith

Duplicate keys, change locks, open locked doors, install alarms… it’s all in a days work of a locksmith. And, unless you live in one of the fifteen states that require licensing, anybody can open shop and call themselves “locksmith.”

You’re just going to get the newspaper by the front door and your toddler or pet decides the door should be closed. Slam, the door is locked and you’re standing outside, with the keys on the kitchen table. A familiar scenario that happens every day in all parts of the country. The only thing that can help you now is calling a locksmith which can quickly become very expensive if you call the wrong company.

Often the situation will be used to rip off the consumer. In an emergency there is no choice but to pay the totally over priced fee. Occurences like this have given the locksmith profession a bad name.

Although a few technical colleges offer locksmith training programs it is not required to be certifiied, making it extremely easy for shady individuals to set up a locksmith business. They lack the skills a true professional locksmith offers: key duplicating, installation and repair of locks, electronic lock installation, and product knowledge that helps the consumer to decide which product will be the best fit for their particular needs.

So how do you recognize a good locksmith? Well, if you live in Alabama, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia or Nassau County, Long Island, New York City, Hillsborough County, Florida, and Miami-Dade, Florida – ask to see the locksmith’s license. These states, counties and city require licensing. Often a serious locksmith business will also belong to a professional association such as the NLA (National Locksmith Association) or the Better Business Bureau.

The best recommendation will undoubtedly come from family, a friend or neighbor. Ask around for the name of a good locksmith, somebody they used before and were happy with. Then keep the contact information handy in case of an emergency.

Jim Arsenault is a Connecticut licensed Master Locksmith with over 30 years experience. He’ll repair or install a new lock at your Connecticut home or business and you’ll always be charged a fair price. Email Jim or give him a call at 860-678-9797.

Locksmith sues Google

We’re all using Google Maps, no doubt about it. The free service has taken over the phone book when it comes to looking for businesses that are close by a user’s location. Plumbers, restaurants, movie theaters, locksmiths… all available with a mouse click or with a swipe on mobile devices. But what many consumers don’t realize is that some of the businesses showing up in the search are fake.

A Washington D.C. locksmith has had enough. He is claiming that Google allows bogus listings to be displayed in search results, often higher than his own legitimate locksmith business listing. He says he’s lost a third of revenue over the last six years. The locksmith is suing Google because they refuse to remove fraudulent locksmith listings. This practice of creating false listings on Google maps is called “map-jacking.”

An Internet security expert reviewed the methods a scammer used to create hundreds of fraudulent listings and found that it is a flaw in how Google’s system is set up. The flaw could be fixed fairly quickly.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court alleges Google “proactively clutter search results with false listing” and “deliberately mislead consumers by publishing false information with prior knowledge that the information is deceptive.”

Google so far has not commented.

Jim is a CT licensed Locksmith with over 30 years experience. He repairs locks, rekeys locks or installs new locks at Connecticut homes or businesses. Email Jim Arsenault or call him at 860-678-9797.

Fake locksmiths give licensed locksmiths a bad name

When searching online for locksmith services the number of companies showing up in the search results is staggering. Page after page of locksmiths, many advertising at low rates.

Luckily J & B Locksmith is also listed. We made it part of our marketing plan to have an easy to use website that is updated every month so that Google and the other search engines include our site in searches and people can find us online. We’re working hard on getting new customers and even harder on keeping our existing customers. How do we do that? Great service, reasonable pricing and honesty – for over 30 years.

Unfortunately not every locksmith company found online is the same way. There have been countless reports in recent years of locksmith scams and consumer rip-offs, no need for us to repeat the obvious in great detail. These scammers are all over Google, Bing and Yahoo maps. Presenting themselves as professional locksmith companies, just waiting for unsuspecting consumers who locked themselves out of the house to call their number for a service call and get taken advantage of. But how do you know which locksmith is real and which one is fake?

The best advice we can give you – ask a friend or neighbor (before you actually need the locksmith) for a locksmith they’ve used and were happy with. Don’t trust online reviews. Checking the Better Business Bureau website to see if there have been any consumer complaints against a particular locksmith also is helpful.

We’re a small business, we don’t have the budget to pour into online advertising that these scammers have so that hundreds of their fake ads are displayed online. We prefer to do what we’ve always done – we make sure that our customers, old and new, are happy with our work, feel safe with us and trust us. After all, in the locksmith business trust is key.

ABC’s TV show “The Lockout” aired an episode that focuses on all the locksmith scamming issues: price gauging, fake online listings, addresses that are non-existent, etc. You can watch the video below.

Jim is a Connecticut licensed Master Locksmith with over 30 years experience. He’ll help you get the door to your Connecticut home or business unlocked – at a fair price. Simply email or give him a call at 860-678-9797.