Consumers at risk from rogue locksmiths operating without licences, watchdog warns

Private Security Authority says ‘public should exercise extreme care when selecting a locksmith’ for homes or businesses

Consumers are at risk of being ripped off by rogue locksmiths operating without licences, the State’s private security watchdog has warned.

In an alert issued on Wednesday, the Private Security Authority (PSA) highlighted the prevalence of unlicensed operators in the locksmith sector.

It specifically pointed to one site,, which, it said, was in breach of regulations.

“Members of the public should exercise extreme care when selecting a locksmith to call to their home or business,” the statement said. “This is especially important if searching online for a reputable locksmith, and the exercise of caution is even more important in an emergency situation.”


It added that it was a “common tactic of unlicensed locksmiths to quote a low price and then drastically increase the price once they arrive at the customer’s location”.

The PSA warned that such traders often use generic terms such as “competitive price” and “24-hour emergency” to “trick people into thinking they are a reputable company”.

The statement concluded by warning consumers that unlicensed locksmiths “often use tools and techniques that cause damage and charge multiples of the quoted price when in your house”.

The authority urged people who need the services of a locksmith the spend “a few minutes checking the PSA register of licence holders [which] will provide you with a professional licensed locksmith.”

Conor Pope

Conor Pope

Conor Pope is Consumer Affairs Correspondent, Pricewatch Editor and cohost of the In the News podcast