Indiana hit hard by locksmith price scheme

Don't let this happen to you!

If you get locked out of your car or your home, you'll likely find yourself searching the internet to find a nearby locksmith to come to your rescue. Take care though, not all locksmiths are created equal...

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — When Steve Kline learned one of his employees was locked out of her car, he looked online to find her help.

"I found a locksmith company that said it could do the job for $20," said Kline, who owns a property management company in Indianapolis. "I said 'Can you be there quickly?' They said 'Yeah, no problem. We'll be there any minute.' So I thought we were all set."

But neither of those claims was true.

"Any minute" turned out to be well over an hour. And the locksmith who showed up charged nearly ten times what Kline had expected.

"They wanted $189," Kline recalls, still in disbelief. "It took him two minutes to pop the lock. Something like that is just a plain rip off."

Kline's experience is common -- very common.

An Eyewitness News undercover investigation shows a growing number of locksmiths operating in Indiana use deceptive tactics to price gouge customers who are locked out of their vehicles. Consumer advocates say the tactics, most often deployed by out-of-state or multi-national companies posing as local locksmiths, are designed to confuse customers and to win business away from local companies that charge far more reasonable rates.

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