Warning over rising numbers of rogue locksmiths
Homeowners in Ipswich are being warned following reports of rogue locksmiths overcharging customers and botching jobs during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Master Locksmiths Association (MLA), the largest trade body representing the profession, says the number of people masquerading as locksmiths has risen during the Covid pandemic as people seek to make money in the unregulated industry.
The MLA said its members have attended more than 300 botched jobs involving rogue locksmiths in the past 12 months, with 65% saying rogues overcharged by £200 or more.
The trade body added that it has been contacted upwards of 500 times in the past 12 months with stories about unscrupulous activities by people masquerading as locksmiths.
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Steffan George, managing director of the MLA, said: “The industry is unregulated so it’s easy to set up as a locksmith with no training, experience or insurance. During the pandemic, we expect the number of incidences involving rogue locksmiths to rise as people under increasing financial pressure see it as an easy way to make money.
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Mr George also warned against the lure of a good deal as people look to save money.
“Experience tells us that at best, rogues are going to do a sub-standard job or overcharge after initially quoting a cheaper price in a tactic known as bait-and-switch, sometimes ultimately charging ten times that of an inspected locksmith, or at worse, display threatening behaviour or withhold keys to locks they’ve just fitted,” he added.
“There are already hundreds of uncertified people working in the industry. With numbers expected to increase, people need to be aware of the dangers and know how to select a reputable locksmith to ensure they don’t fall victim to a rogue.
“Homeowners should go to a reputable firm which employs insured and trained locksmiths – someone who you can trust to protect you and your home.”
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