Alberta and other areas of Canada are experiencing a problem with fraudulent locksmiths. These companies are usually based out of province or out of country and do not employ professional licensed locksmtihs.
All locksmiths in Alberta must carry with them at all times a Government of Alberta Solicitor General issued license. It will have their photo, name and expiry date on it. This was designed to help protect the consumer from fraudulent locksmiths.
Fraudulent locksmiths employ the following tactics to take advantage of consumers:
- Online advertising with search engines - the pay to have their ads at the top and use techniques in their websites to ensure higher placement in the search results.
- They often use names of other locksmiths on their websites to trick consumers into thinking they are another reputable locksmith.
- They do not have a shop location - Not all mobile locksmiths are fraudulent, but the fraudulent locksmiths are mobile. They do not have a shop you can go back to if you have a complaint or a problem later on.
- They will advertise very low service call rates and then increase the bill onsite - this bait and switch tactic is utilized significantly by fraudulent locksmiths. They will provide excuses like you have a "unpick-able lock" to destroy your lock and sell you a new one at an exorbitant price.
- They arrive in unmarked vans or small vehicles
- They will not have common hardware, the ability to rekey the locks or cut more keys for you onsite.
- Most importantly they will not be able to provide you with a license. Always ask the technician that arrives at your door for their license, if they are unable to provide it refuse service immediately and do not pay them a penny. All locksmiths in Calgary are aware they must carry a license.