Locksmiths scams have become major news in New York and other areas of the country. Tough new licensing regulations offer stronger consumer protections, but consumers need to research their locksmiths to make sure they have valid local addresses, enjoy state licensing and have essential boding and insurance protection. People seeking to get licenses in New York need to prove their credentials, training and identities to work in the city.
New York, New York—November 18, 2012—Scams involving New York residents and consumers have recently made headline news, but trained locksmiths provide vital services for home and car owners, commercial businesses, security services, department stores, hospitals and universities, hardware stores, government agencies and industrial companies. New York locksmith regulations require that locksmiths and employees get licenses and register with the Department of Consumer Affairs, get criminal records checks and submit proofs of identity and competency. Locksmithing offers higher than average salaries, but many unqualified people have left consumers frustrated by scams, poor service and overcharging for services.
Locksmith Scams in the News
Recently, online anonymity has resulted in third-party advertisers placing deceptive advertising for locksmith services, and fraud investigators call these cheaters ghost locksmiths. These fraudulent operators place ads that give local addresses, but the business locations prove bogus. People locked out of their homes or cars fail to investigate, ordering services from mobile phones and devices. These third-party advertisers give the work orders to unlicensed and unqualified vendors who overcharge people or fail to do competent work.
Bait-and-switch tactics also prove common. The phone contacts quote low prices but refuse to guarantee the final charges. Consumers get billed far more than they expected. People who get locked out of their cars should always get reliable price quotes by simply providing the makes, models and vehicle locations.
New York Licensing Requirements
Professional locksmiths perform a number of vital services for consumers, and home-security solutions help people feel safer in their homes. People who want to explore careers as locksmiths must pass exams, receive training from accredited schools or take online courses and get one-the-job experience from qualified license holders. Consumers can protect themselves by verifying physical addresses and making sure that service vehicles show proper signage identifying them as certified locksmiths. Professional locksmiths in New York City wear uniforms and have name-tags and valid business cards.
Topics of the licensing exam include key blank identification, basics of master keying, lockset servicing, cylinder service and key impressioning, according to the Associated Locksmiths of America. People who want to pursue careers as locksmiths should expect to train from 10 to 13 months. In New York City, the Charles Stuart School offers certified instruction in locksmithing from locations in Brooklyn, New York and Jersey City, New Jersey.
Locksmith applicants must list any criminal convictions and get fingerprinted at the DCA Licensing Center at 42 Broadway, fifth floor, in the lower section of Manhattan. Convictions don’t necessarily preclude getting licenses, but failure to mention convictions could disqualify applicants. Applicants can file the initial paperwork online, but they must appear in person within five days to complete the process.
- Applicants must produce two letters of recommendation by New York City-licensed locksmiths or certificates from the New York State Education Department that prove completion of certified training programs.
- Applicants must prove their identities and submit photos and fingerprints.
- Locksmith licenses require a $75 processing fee and licensing fees that range from $50 to $125, prorated by remaining days in the year.
- Locksmiths must meet general business requirements of the city and state, which offer consumer protections.
- New York City businesses must follow applicable city, state and federal regulations.
- City council regulations often change, and locksmiths must keep up with changes in laws and regulations that affect their industry.
Great Careers and Reliable Service
Most locksmiths operate legally in New York https://key-n-lock.com/locksmith-manhattan/, and consumers can avoid scams and ripoffs by using a little common sense. A New York locksmith career might involve giving security advice, opening combination locks, working with electronic and biometric systems and repairing and installing safes. Legitimate training holds the key to pursuing this lucrative career; people just need to follow the guides to cut keys to personal and professional job security.