Alarming Facts about Lock Bumping

An experienced intruder can get into your home in as little as 15 seconds.  Today there are many tools available online (or even tools that thieves can make themselves) that allow intruders quick access into your home or place of business.

Intruders today are using a process known as lock bumping to gain access to locked doors. Lock bumping is high security pluga popular technique used by criminals to open cylinder locks and deadbolt locks by using a specially designed key called a bump key. Lock bumping has gained popularity in the past few years due to the simplicity and effectiveness of this technique. Originally used by locksmiths, this technique has come to the attention of criminals who can simply search the internet for topics like, “How to Create a Bump Key”, and they are given step by step instructions on how to create a bump key and how to “bump open” a lock!  There are countless videos on You Tube that demonstrate the entire process as well! If this is not a greenlight for crime – I don’t know what is!

What is a bump key?

Bump keys are special keys that are cut to take advantage of the mechanics of pin tumbler locks.  It is basically a standard key that has all the cuts (or valleys) at maximum depth so that it can fit it into all locks. If the bump key physically fits into a lock, there is a good chance the key will open the lock.  Many sites on the internet sell a complete bump key set for about $20.00.  This key will open virtually any lock.  In addition, homemade bump keys can be easily made with an old key and a triangular file.  Lock bumping can be learned in under an hour and requires almost no skills. With bump keys and tutorials so readily available online, lock bumping has become one of the most effective tools in the criminal’s arsenal. According to the Crime, “Researchers estimate that over 95% of conventional home and business locks are vulnerable to a bump key attack.”

What can you do to protect your home?

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Today, more than 90% of American homes have doors with old style cylinder locks which are extremely vulnerable to lock bumping.  Even brand-new locks from big box home improvement and hardware stores are also vulnerable to lock bumping.

The best option is to purchase a high security cylinder lock that can protect your home. These locks are known for their strength and resistance to tampering.  They are secure locks that are bump and pick resistant and they offer a significant defense against picking, drilling, and unauthorized key duplication.  Made of solid metal such as brass or steel they also offer an added defense against forced entry.

One Stop Locksmith has a large selection of the strongest, high security locks and keys for your home.  They can install these locks on any door in your home; giving you the protection and peace of mind you want for the safety of your home and family. Give them a call at 888-599-5625 and they can inspect all of the locks on your home or place of business. Protect your home, family or place of business with a high security locks today.

Avoid the Locksmith Scammers

Avoid the Locksmith Scammers

24 hour locksmithIf you are in need of a locksmith, especially in an emergency situation, the whole experience can be alarming, overwhelming and even cause anxiety. A friend of mine recently found herself in that situation and unfortunately, her unlucky experience of being locked out her house – became even more disastrous when she was scammed by a phony locksmith company.

My friend had just returned from vacation and after a long day of traveling across the country, she was finally home.  When she tried to get into her front door, she realized she had lost her house keys. Whether they were in the taxi, the airplane or her hotel didn’t matter at this point as it was late and dark and being alone, she wanted to get inside her home!   Of course she had her cell phone with her so she searched for a locksmith and was happy to find a locksmith that offered 24 hour services at very reasonable prices. This locksmith claimed that the cost would be under $20.00 to get her into her home and they would also be able to make her a new key right on the spot!  (Sounds too good to be true – right?) But at that moment it was a great sense of relief to my friend and it sounded like a great deal to her, so she gave them her address.

Within a half hour, someone did show up at her home and they did get her into her house.  However, (and this is a big “however”) – they broke the entire knob and handle off of her door, which required a replacement that they could provide immediately.  The cost of course, was nowhere near $20.00 as promised, the entire service cost $300.00 and they demanded to be paid in cash!  Now I won’t go into the rest of the story – but the point is that my friend was scammed!  In this case the so called “locksmith” used what is known as a “Bait and Switch” technique.  In this shameful scam, locksmiths advertise unreasonably low prices to attract business and can charge as much as 400 to 500 percent more after completing their work!  In addition to the bait and switch tactic, the following are some other scam tactics that these phony locksmiths may use:

Cash Only Scam: Scammers pose as locksmiths, and, after “fixing” a customer’s lock, they claim they can only take cash payment due to a broken credit card machine or some other illegitimate excuse. This prevents the customer from disputing the charge later.

Identity Theft:  In this tactic, the customer usually receives decent service and pays the expected price but the criminal providing the service steals their private information to either sell or utilize for themselves.

New Handle or Door Knob Scam: The alleged locksmiths will claim that the only way to gain access to a customer’s home is by breaking the handle or wrenching it off. This requires the customer to buy one of the scammer’s overpriced replacements, but the customer doesn’t know this until after the damage is done.

As I review my friend’s story and some of the scams that are out there – I see that she was a victim of more than one type of scam. So what can you do to prevent this from happening to you?  According to the Better Business Bureau there are several things to be aware of when hiring a locksmith.  You should always lookout for warning signs like suspiciously low prices, a locksmith in an unmarked vehicle with no company uniform, cash-only policies, a collection of negative reviews online, or the demand for upfront payment. By taking just a few extra minutes to stop and evaluate your situation, you can stop from making a rash decision and prevent yourself from becoming the next locksmith scam victim.

For a reliable and trustworthy locksmith, you can count on One Stop Locksmith for all of your locksmith needs.  For experienced locksmith services call us any time at 718-548-0666 or 914-966-0666.   Or call 888-599-LOCK (5625) .