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Outrageous Locksmith Bills


News ALERT - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced April 7, 2010 that his Consumer Protection Division has issued a Cease and Desist Order against a Maryland locksmith...

Over the past few years thousands of citizens in the entire nation have become victims of phony locksmiths. What is a phony locksmith? A phony lockmith uses fake addresses to appear anywhere and everywhere a citizen could expect to have need for locksmith services. A phony locksmith will often use unsuspecting citizen's addresses or non existent addresses to create thousands of locksmith listings in the printed directories and on the internet, in a blatant effort to monopolize the mechanisms by which consumers can expect to be able to find a locksmith, such as 411, the white pages, the yellowpages, and of course, the countless number of search engines and directories on the internet. What is so maddening for those of us who strive hard to maintain a valid internet presence is that most internet portals or printed directories seem not to care that the addresses the phony locksmiths have printed in those directories or online in their directories are not a locksmith storefront location at all. These addresses appear as valid addresses in the search engine maps, and contribute to their overall effort to be the most valuable provider of "relevant content", even if, in our opinion, they are clearly aiding and abetting criminal organizations that we have proven time and again have no valid trade name registration for the listing and no locksmith storefront location. If you get locked out, and are trying to locate a locksmith that is "nearest" to you, it seems the phony locksmiths have engineered this massive locksmith fraud so well that most casual users of the internet search engines really can't be expected to tell the difference between the phony address used by the phony locksmith and the real locksmith with a real address, just two blocks down the street from the phony locksmith. With so many phony locksmith companies using so many phony addresses, many users of a search engine are highly likely to become a victim of one of the thousands of phony locksmith companies in Maryland alone, because they have purposely placed themselves with a phony address in any area they choose, without regard for our laws or the safety of the citizens that may live at those addresses. There is a high probability that someone who is not aware of this problem will become a victim of a phony locksmith if they are locked out and they search online or browse a printed directory for a local locksmith.

What has been especially troubling about the obvious methods used to monopolize the market for emergency locksmith service is that the dispatchers that answer the phones will always quote a low service fee and send an unqualified individual who has had little or no training as a locksmith, and yet will pretend that your lock has to be broken in order to gain entry to your home or business. A phony locksmith. You would think with such a mass marketing strategy they could just set a flat fee and stay with it, but instead, they choose to lowball their trip charge fee in featured top line listings in the search engines and then rip you off by charging an outrageous fee for the actual labor involved in services performed. Most legitimate locksmith companies know their trade well enough to quote a flat fee for a car opening if you tell them what make and model car you have. If you are locked out of your car, the phony locksmith dispatcher will quote a substantially lower price over the phone than most real locksmith companies, and yet charge an outrageous fee for the labor involved in opening your car, home, or business, instead of quoting a flat fee like most experienced locksmiths would. With all fairness to search engines like Google, the real cause of this problem is the criminals who created the listings and the telephone company that allowed the listings, along with unregistered, often hijacked trade names, to be created in the first place! Without those initial listings having been created, there would not be the problem we have now. Google is taking steps to thwart their efforts despite the massive extent of the fraud involved. If there is no accountability in those initial steps of creating the listed name, listed address along with the phone number, with the telephone company that allows it, then it is believable, in our opinion, that all the countless number of directories and search engines that then use those listings as "relevant content" really cannot be expected to do anything about it, which has allowed this problem to continue for so long. However, just because someone gives you bad information does not make you irresponsible when you broadcast it before checking out the validity of that information. We believe the most culpable parties involved in this phony locksmith scam are the individuals who create the fraudulent listing and the telephone companies that create their listings without proper investigation, without even a cursory glance of charter records of the state in which the listings are advertised. We have made this information available to each directory we advertise in an effort to force them to remove fraudulent listings and in most cases, the advertisers remain unconcerned for both the liability on the true owner of a trade name when it is obviously hijacked, or the citizen that may live at the phony locksmith published address. In essence, legitimate locksmiths are as much or more the victims of these unregulated phony locksmiths as the citizens that they gouge in order to pay for the whole mass marketing strategy. With that said, if you have become a victim, and know full well what has happened, we want to help you help us. We want you to help all legitimate locksmiths to prevent other consumers from being fooled into thinking that there really was a locksmith at that phony address.

What a citizen should be able to assume is that someone who advertises as a locksmith can pick many locks without damaging them. The scammers using this phony address/ phony locksmith marketing strategy know that they can make more money from you by pretending that they cannot pick your lock or not even being capable of picking any lock! That makes them phony locksmiths. If they were real locksmiths they would not be guilty of identifying what even an apprentice locksmith with training could pick open with his eyes closed as somehow being high security or requiring drilling, which then puts the consumer of said phony locksmith services at risk of being without a lock on their door if they refuse to allow the phony locksmith to charge again to "uninstall" the lock they broke unnescessarily, and then charge again an outrageous fee for substandard hardware and its installation which in many cases we have also found to be less secure a lock than what the victim of said phony locksmith had before he arrived! We hope that locksmith legislation, with Maryland House Bill 370 and Senate Bill 507, will lay the foundation for an aggressive enforement action by the citizens of the State of Maryland, legitimate locksmiths, and law enforcement alike. If you feel you are a victim of a phony locksmith, we want to hear from you! We are interested in collecting any outrageous locksmith bills or any evidence you have that will assist us in prosecuting illegal locksmiths. Without your help, it could take many, many years to eradicate the State of Maryland of this scourge of phony locksmiths. Many honest, law abiding, legal locksmiths are at risk of losing their livelihood due to the unscrupulous, outrageous methods used by companies to aggressively monopolize the locksmith trade. Our commitment to the protection of Maryland consumers includes fairness amongst our peers. Ultimately, a cohesive network of locksmiths that does work together will eventually rid the State of Maryland of individuals who have purposely marketed themselves with phony addresses and blatant disregard for the safety of the individuals living at that address. We strongly encourage you to conduct a Google search for your own address and find out if it is being used by a phony locksmith company. If you or anyone you know has had your address hijacked in this manner, we would like your assistance in presenting addtional evidence of this criminal wrongdoing to the appropriate authorities.

The second thing you can do to protect yourself from ever having a phony locksmith experience is to establish a working relationship with a company you trust, and keep their phone number handy, or even better yet, program their number into your cel phone. In this day and age, your cel phone is almost always still with you even when you forget your keys, we know about these things. More importantly, be aware that one of the worst practices used by these phony locksmith companies is to hijack reputable companies' directory listings to purposely confuse you into thinking you are calling the reputable locksmith company you know and trust. They could use another companies name, verbatim, on the internet, and in online directories like or seem to be doing little or nothing about this particular problem. A reputable company deserves to maintain its good reputation without fear of some irresponsible internet search engine not taking steps to thwart the blatant hijacking of internet listings and use of duplicate trade names of companies you know and trust. Ask for someone you know at the company, and reference your location by use of landmarks. A dispatcher in Florida or New York, which is where many of these phony locksmith phone numbers forward to, will probably not know where your local grocery store is, whereas a truly local locksmith will, and you can tell when they are not truly local. Call the directory again, if you need to, until you are connected with someone that you can tell is actually local to your area, and not pretending to be.

The third thing you can do is to let friends and family know about this problem. It is unconscionable what some people will do to "earn" a living, and just a few minutes of buyer beware with someone else helps to decrease the number of future victims of these scam artists. We have provided, free of charge to any locksmith listed in our directory, what we intend to be a complete listing of any company doing business legally as a locksmith in the State of Maryland. In essence, we are becoming the Locksmith Police of our own profession. Even if you don't use Baldino's for your locksmith service, we want you to be able to connect to a reputable company and do everything we can to keep customers from wasting their money on phony locksmiths. If you are a locksmith in the State of Maryland and do not see your website link in our directory, feel free to contact us and we will add it after we verify your information. If you are looking for a Baldinos Locksmith, feel free to find your closest Baldino's location below and give us a call to help bring safety and security back to the forefront of what real locksmiths do. Don't make the mistake that many have made in assuming that any locksmith, any real locksmith, would ever want to take advantage of a human error. Call us today to find out what you can do to assist us and the State of Maryland in prosecuting criminal locksmiths, your outrageous locksmith bill could make the difference.

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Virginia/D.C. 703-550-0770
Montgomery/P.G. County 301-963-4440
Baltimore/Annapolis 410-561-0961

Allied Locksmiths - Maryland's largest network of registered locksmith companies is now answered by Baldino's Lock and Key. Allied Locksmiths serves Maryland's Eastern Shore.