Archive | June 2014

What’s in a Number? ( a phone number that is)

Checking Google the other morning using the search term “locksmith 30043” I came across 6 listings. The first was for Gwinnett Locks and Keys, a local locksmith just across highway 20 from me. They are legitimate. Unfortunately the other 5 were not. Here is what I found:

Lawrenceville Locksmith Guys
1541 Laurel River Trail
Lawrenceville, GA
(770) 203-1736

Avilon Lock Change & Rekey Service
1446 Calvin Davis Cir
Lawrenceville, GA
(770) 203-1736

Make a car key in Lawrenceville
335 Rosedown Way
Lawrenceville, GA
(770) 203-1736

All Around Car Key & Automotive Service
1107 Nickel Plate Ct
Lawrenceville, GA
(770) 203-1788

Aborn Lockouts Service
274 Russell Ridge Dr
Lawrenceville, GA
(770) 203-1732

You will notice that 3 of the phone numbers are exactly the same and the rest have the first 8 digits the same.
I found the same thing last December, there were over 70 different listings using 48 different phone numbers, all the numbers had the same first 8 digits and of course some of the numbers were reused. Some of them had 5 listings using the same phone numbers covering the entire N Metro area. I didn’t check to see how many there were this time, so I’m only using the first page of Google listings as an example.

A tactic of the scammer ‘locksmith’ is to spam the internet with multiple listings to increase the chances of the unsuspecting public calling them so they can rob you. In the example above, Google returned 6 total listings, A – F.  5 of these listings were fraudulent and all 5  connected to the same scamster company which is most likely out of state. This is inferred by the fraudulent reviewers activity. There are actually more than 20 connected to this single out of state company in the surrounding cities, but we are focusing just on Lawrenceville for now.

Having the same and similar phone numbers means the scammer has purchased a bank of local phone numbers. This accomplishes 4 things:

  • 1)to make you believe that each number is a different company, giving the illusion of choice.

  • 2) to spam the listings so legitimate and honest locksmiths won’t be found.

  • 3) to make you believe they are local so you won’t have to wait. And finally…

  • 4) the ultimate goal is to steal from you.

Additionally, each listing had a single fraudulent 5 review. The reviews were posted under some obviously false names; Mccaffery Myler, Bowman Arvidson , Lowrey Stutes , Mercurio Sunseri and Korhonen Hargrove. Clicking on these names will take you to the Google+ review pages associated with the false names. All but one have posted 10 separate 5  reviews for fake locksmiths in 4 different states! The odd one out only posted 9.

There is a concerted effort afoot to steal as much money as can be bullied out of you – So, when you are searching Google for your locksmith and you see a good Google review, check out the reviewer, check the other listings for similar phone numbers. You will save yourself a lot of heartache and more importantly, your hard earned cash.

Please do your research, find your locksmith BEFORE you need him or her.