We think of Buffalo as small. We don't think Buffalo would be affected by people running scams. But all across the USA (including Buffalo) scammers posing as locksmiths have moved in and set up locksmith shops/businesses.
These people have been trained in other countries how to run scams, market their business, and get fake reviews. They are very good at it, and they are very hard to stop. They also try picking business names that are very close to establish locksmith businesses in the area.
They are not trained how to be locksmiths.
Use ALOA To find a certified locksmith in your area.
There are many scams and many variations of each scam. Here are just a couple of the most common.
Locked out of House Scam 1: A customer calls one of these phone numbers in the phone-book or from the Internet. The scammer quotes a low price $40-$60 so you say "Yes, come out to help me". Once the "locksmith" gets there, they "try" to pick the lock for a few minutes then say that it will need to be drilled out and it will cost more. They can can charge over $100 to drill out the lock and over $100 to replace the lock, plus the initial cost that was quoted on the phone, now instead of $50 or $60 that was quoted on the phone the bill is over $200. If you say "No" they will say "You just need to pay the $40-$60 service call and I will leave, but keep in mind if you call someone else they may not be able to pick it and you will also have to wait for them to show up".
Help protect yourself by asking how long the locksmith will try to pick the lock before they drill the lock. It should be well over 30 minutes before going to such drastic measures. Legitimate locksmiths know that every now and then you can get a tough to pick lock. I have been picking locks for over 35 years and every now and then I will run into an inexpensive lock that could take me 45 minutes or more to pick. The scammers won't spend 45 minutes trying to pick the lock for $40-$60 when they can drill and replace the lock in 10 minutes and make $200-$300.
Locked out of vehicle Scam 1: A customer calls one of these phone numbers in the phone-book or from the Internet. The scammer quotes a low price $30-$55 so you say "Yes, come out to help me". Once the "locksmith" gets there, they tell you that the price you were quoted was just the service call and it will be an additional $XX to open the vehicle. If you say "No" they will say "You just need to pay the $30-$55 service call and I will leave."
Help protect yourself by asking on the phone if all charges are included in the phone quote.
If you have been a victim of a scam in Buffalo please contact NY attorney General office and/or BBB Buffalo NY