FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) – North Texas locksmiths are speaking out about a security issue that is hurting local businesses, which they say could put your family at risk.
They are blaming big name search engines that point unknowing consumers to unlicensed locksmiths, who have no security background checks.
A quick search of the word locksmith paired with any city in the country will produce a long list of what appears to be “local” companies, ready to come out and open your door, often at a price that sounds almost too good to be true.
The CBS 11 I-Team called out the first locksmith that popped up on our search for “locksmith” and “Hurst.”
But the man who showed you would not tell us his last name, his company name or show us his state license.
Licensed locksmiths call this a huge public safety issue, and they say search engines are driving the problem.
“If you go to Google, on page one of Google, typically about 80 percent of the locksmiths are illegitimate locksmiths,” says Mike Schneider, who runs A1, the largest locksmith company in
Schneider is on a national task force working to stop the unlicensed businesses. He says some legitimate companies are taking it a step further by taking legal action against search engines for posting false advertising and fake companies.
As a husband and father, any service technician that is coming to my house and managing the security and safety of my family, I want to make sure that their employer is doing all the background checks,”
The Federal Trade Commission is also posting an alert warning that your call for help may not be going to a licensed “local” locksmith, but rather to a “distant city where operators dispatch untrained individuals to do the job.”
The man who responded to the CBS 11 I-Team call said he would call us back with his license and company information, but he never did,
CBS 11 also reached out to several search engines. Google sent us a statement saying.
“We’re aware of the gaming practices happening in the locksmith industry…We’ve implemented several measures to combat this issue…including improving our spam detection algorithms…”
Google says it’s also working with the locksmith industry to find solutions.
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