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Locksmith Scam Warning

Beware of unlicensed "discount" locksmiths.  The entire country has been infested with them for several years now.

Here are two national news stories on the issue:

Today Show

ABC News

Here are some of the danger signs:

  • They advertise very aggressively, both in phone books and on the internet. Legitimate locksmiths can count on referrals and repeat business.
  • They promise to do work for unreasonably low prices.  Anyone who claims to send a skilled tradesman to your home for $20 is not operating a legitimate business!
  • They often appear to have multiple addresses.  It seems that their shop or office is right around the corner, even though you've never seen or heard of them before.
  • They offer a toll-free number or multiple "local" numbers.
  • They do not have a locksmith license (NC locksmiths must be licensed, and are required to include the license number in their ads).
  • They have several generic business names.  Often you can see on the website that the company is operating under multiple names.
  • When you call, the person on the phone demonstrates no familiarity with your town.
  • When they show up, suddenly your project is "more complicated" and the price escalates dramatically.  They often insist on payment in cash, and use intimidating tactics to collect.
  • For the most part, the scammers are not local folks.  It is difficult to pinpoint the connections among all of them, but it seems that most of them are part of an organized crime syndicate that brings young men from Israel as their "locksmiths."

If you think you may be encountering a scam locksmith, don't pay them.  Call the police and make them wait.

If the deal is done and you think you've been scammed, file a complaint with the NC Attorney General's office.


Busse's Lock Service has been a local business since 1982, operated by the Busse family.  We have a retail store on Wake Forest Road in Raleigh.  Our staff is licensed by the NC Locksmith Licensing Board.

Here are some other REAL locksmiths that we know: