Action 9 investigates locksmith scams

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An Oviedo woman claims she lost $1,000 trying to make her home safe, blaming a local locksmith.  

It's one of many serious locksmith complaints Action 9 has been investigating.

Susan Price had just found out Absolute Locksmith billed her nearly $1,500 to install four deadbolt locks.   She hired the company while she was at work and had a friend at the house.

“I said, 'Are you out of your flipping mind?'" said Price. "If I was home, I would have told him to take the locks out and leave. I wouldn't have paid him.”

The company had charged $400 for the dead bolt locks but labor charges hit more than $1,000 for about four hours.  

So, Price had paid almost $250 an hour for installation and re-keying. 

“I think they took a big advantage," she said.

Action 9 checked state and credit card records and found the company has at least three names.  Its downtown Orlando address on Central Boulevard actually turned out to be federal courthouse building and was actually a pretend-business address, according to Action 9's Todd Ulrich.

Action 9 also contacted the company by phone and the employee who answered refused to say the company’s name or location.

It's similar to many of the rogue locksmith companies Action 9 exposed before, and several have been tied to a telemarketing operation in Arizona.

In a 2007 hidden-camera test, a technician charged Action 9 $600 dollars to drill out a lock instead of just replacing it.  

Since then, the number of similar operations have exploded along with the number of complaints. Action 9's investigations found locksmiths that don't have actual local addresses pose the biggest risk.  

The Central Florida Locksmith Association has lobbied lawmakers to create a state license.

Price is disputing her credit card charge.