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Consumer Alert: Locksmith Fraud
CNBC.com | January 27, 2009 | 12:39 PM EST

When you need a locksmith, chances are you’re not looking out for fraudsters. Get them in and out to unlock your door – whether it’s your home or car – and be on your way. But an investigation by NBC affiliate WRC in Washington D.C. found that locksmith scams are on the rise.

Watch the video for the full report from WRC

According to the Locksmith Association of America, the huge majority of locksmith ads in print and online are placed by con artists. The general idea behind the scam is to quote you a reasonable price for the service over the phone and then triple, or even quadruple that price once they show up. These scammers are banking on you, the consumer, forking over hundreds of dollars for the convenience of being let in to your car or house.

Security expert and former New York cop Bill Stanton says the increase in fraud is correlated – surprise – to the downturn in the economy. And it isn’t just locksmiths. Consumers should be extra vigilant about repairmen, plumbers and other services that have the opportunity to prey on the customer’s lack of knowledge about their job.

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