You trust them with your security. Maybe it's your car, your business, even your home. When you call a locksmith how do you really know who's on the other line?
"To me it's deceptive business practices," says Tim Ford, owner of A-Ford-Able Locksmithing in Wichita.
Ford prompted our investigation with a call to FactFinder 12.
"What we're up against here is telling a victim that they've been a victim when they don't know they've been a victim," says Ford.
He says there's something happening in his industry you should know about. He says there are companies claiming to be local when they're not, even using other company names to get your business.
"He just kept giving different names and numbers," says Jamie with Wichita company Isodyne.
Jamie and co-worker, Lynn, needed a locksmith in their office. They've always used A-Ford-Able Locksmithing. That's who they thought they called, but flags went up when the locksmith wanted a credit card.
"We asked for ID and invoice and he wouldn't provide any of that and you could tell he was getting frustrated," says Jamie.
The women called police and the man left.
FactFinder 12 had a similar experience. We found a company in the yellow pages called Wichita 24-Hour Locksmith. The person on the other line said we had reached "Affordable Locksmith". We called again and the person on the other line assured us the company was in Wichita and even gave us an address.
But when the locksmith arrived, he claimed to be with Express Locksmith from New York City. He asked for our identification, but couldn't provide one himself.
A manager with his company tells FactFinder 12 that the company is actually in Overland Park and that the name of the company is Able Locksmith. He also told us they operate under several different names in the Wichita area.
"Some locksmiths advertising in your local telephone book may not be local at all. They may not have professional training. What's more, some of them may use intimidating tactics and overcharge you," according to the Federal Trade Commission's website.
The locksmith that FactFinder 12 called quoted us $35 plus some labor. When the locksmith arrived to unlock our vehicle he wanted $85.
"It just disgusts me that they're doing business in my in industry in my town in my name," said Ford. "That's got to be wrong."
Factfinder 12 talked to the company again.
A spokesperson says it has re-trained employees to let customers know where the company is located if asked.
He says we must have reached employees who have not received the training.
He also says the number in the phone book must be a misprint and the company is looking into that.
We should point out that it's not illegal for a locksmith to operate from a different state, but they are not allowed to misrepresent themselves.