Written By: Barry Campbell, Managing Director SOPL
The latest (August, 2013) National Locksmith magazine rehashes a scammer investigation by an Atlanta television station from earlier this year. Anyone who has watched the original video for the story (http://www.11alive.com/news/article/292516/320/Undercover-Locksmith-Investigation) may have noticed something odd. At about 1:38 into the video, a van belonging to one of the “legitimate” locksmiths consulted for the story is seen. Clearly displayed on the van is the word “Licensed”. But, Georgia does not license locksmiths. In a story about fraud and misrepresentation by scammers, you would think someone might have asked how a locksmith could claim to be licensed in a state that does not issue locksmith licenses.
Meanwhile, also in Georgia, the Governor's Office of Consumer Protection (GOCP) has fined a scammer operation almost $112,000 (http://www.coosavalleynews.com/np103415.htm). Can any locksmith licensing board match that? The GOCP effectively demonstrates that scammers posing as a locksmtih can be attacked under existing laws, whereas licensing laws have proven themselves ineffective (http://www.sopl.us/4/post/2013/06/definitive-proof-that-locksmith-licensing-is-a-con-job-what-your-not-being-told.html).
And, unlike what was stated in the article copied in the National Locksmith - “Warnings have been placed on the Associated Locksmiths of America's website about mobile locksmiths masquerading as local companies.” - the Atlanta scammer was NOT a mobile locksmith. They had a physical location in Atlanta (http://www.bbb.org/atlanta/business-reviews/locks-and-locksmiths/atlanta-solution-locksmith-in-atlanta-ga-27247383).
Despite seeing how to effectively deal with scammers, the local Georgia locksmith association and politicians still want to add regulations that will be enforced on the legitimate locksmiths (http://www.cbsatlanta.com/story/22934119/state-lawmaker-wants-to-regulate-locksmiths).
Some folks just refuse to learn! Or, as seen in a popular meme making the rounds on Facebook – a horse stating that, “You can lead a human to knowledge, but you can't make him think.”
Barry Campbell, owner of Altic Lock Service and Managing Director of the Society of Professional Locksmiths. Barry is a graduate of Valparaiso University with a degree in Criminal Justice. He has worked in private security, investigations, and loss prevention. He is the author of A Homeowner's Guide to Residential Door Security. barry also is a former Professional member of the International Conference of Building Officials and a current Building Safety Professional member of the International Code Council. dit.
Tom Lynch, CRL