For those of you who have been following the stories of scammers posing as locksmith using fake addresses and phone numbers unmercifully ripping off the general public, (and all of you should be) there have been some encouraging events unfolding in the quest to stop such illegal activity from continuing.
First, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) seems to have finally taken notice of this matter and is beginning to take action. At first the IDFPR seemed to be turning a blind eye to this matter, but after numerous articles, news stories and complaints by locksmiths, the IDFPR is now working with the Illinois Attorney General's office to enforce legislation.
Speaking of the Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, she filed a 37-page lawsuit against two companies perpetrating the illegal activity.
The following is a partial excerpt from the official press release regarding the suit:
MADIGAN SEEKS TO CLOSE DOOR ON PHONY STOREFRONT LOCKSMITHS Chicago Attorney General Lisa Madigan sued two New York locksmith companies and their owners and officers for setting up fake addresses and phone numbers in Illinois that led locked-out consumers to believe they were dealing with a local company, when in fact their calls for help were dispatched to the Bronx, New York, and, often, unlicensed Illinois locksmiths were instructed to respond. Cook, DuPage and Lake Counties received complaints. Madigan's lawsuit names as defendants Price Line Locksmith, Inc., a New York corporation, doing business as Priceline Locksmith, Inc., and Locksmith 24 Hours, Inc.; Gilad Gill, individually and as President of Price Line Locksmith, Inc; David Sasson, individually and as President of Price Line Locksmith, Inc.; Superb Solutions, Inc., a New York corporation; and Shlomo Hadar, individually and as President of Superb Solutions, Inc. Madigan alleges that Price Line solicited and advertised for at least 17 companies under assumed business names that claimed to be Illinois-based businesses. However, outside of their registered agent's location in Skokie, the defendants do not have a location in Illinois. The ads for the companies with the assumed business names were placed in the Yellow Pages, on various Internet Yellow Pages' search engines, its own individual Web sites at www.chicago-locksmith.com, www.USATotalSecurity.com and on telephone directory assistance. Additionally, Price Line is not licensed to do business in Illinois under any of the assumed business names used by Price Line. It's time to close the door on a New York company that does everything in its power to represent that it's a local Illinois company, Madigan said. Price Line not only operated several phony businesses, they employed questionable practices when actually doing locksmith work. Madigan's suit seeks to prohibit Price Line from doing business in Illinois, revocation of any and all licenses to do business in Illinois, a declaration that all contracts with consumers are unlawful and that restitution is paid. The lawsuit also seeks a civil penalty of $50,000 and additional penalties of $50,000 for each violation found to have been committed with the intent to defraud. Additionally, the suit seeks $10,000 per violation committed against a person 65 or older. Consumers who face emergency situations such as lockouts often are targets for con artists, Madigan said. We allege that Price Line preyed upon this stress and in the process, broke the laws of our state. The case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Henry Ford, Jr., in Madigan's Consumer Protection Division.
Montrose, New York