We Inform, You Make the Call: Beware of the Locksmith “High Security Key” Scam
Sometimes when we call a locksmith it’s during an emergency, a vulnerable situation, a moment of pressing need. For instance, when we get locked out and we require immediate assistance. Less than honorable locksmiths out there rely on a tired scam to make a few extra bucks from unsuspecting citizens that are not experts in our field. Usually this will happen in bigger cities, or in college towns such as Boulder, where busy university students can become easy prey when stuck between a lock and a hard place. Allow us to enlighten you on how to avoid the “high security key scam.”
It really begins when you call in to the ”Company”, this is typically a call center that is located in some other state somewhere and they will give you a low estimate or starting price over the phone just to get the technician out there. Then when a locksmith has arrived at your home or business to pick your lock and they say, “I cannot pick your lock, I have to drill it, because it’s a high security lock.”
The aim of the scam is to fool unsuspecting customers that their normal locks are high security locks which have a patented mechanism inside of the lock that makes them drill resistant and pick resistant. High security locks require more work to open thereby costing a higher fee. Here’s how to distinguish high security locks and keys:
The high security patented key is uniquely shaped, unlike the common Kwikset or Schlage keys, and will have visible features such as side milling, sliders, teeth cut on angles or internal mechanisms. These attributes can be found on keys such as the Mul-T-Lock or Medeco keys, and they are usually labelled as “patented,” “patent pending,” and “Do Not Duplicate.”
Regular locks, commonly used for doors in family homes, multi-dwelling buildings and some businesses, are usually pickable with a few exceptions and should be no trouble for a professional locksmith and certainly do not warrant the huge price tags for breaking in that these scammers will tell you. Even if your lock does need to be drilled, which can be the case with some Schlage locks due to their pick resistance and the “Smart Key” locks from Kwickset due to their mechanism being different to your typical tumbler lock there is still no reason you should be charged more for the service as they are not difficult to drill out.
Contact us if you have any questions identifying unique or uncommon keys and locks. Our professional locksmiths can be dispatched to you and will give you a professional and dependable service you can rely on.