Private Security Licensing
Don't be scammed by unlicensed and uninsured phony security businesses.
What you need to know.
There are thousands of unlicensed companies advertising on the internet and in print material. The phony compaines setup shop outside of Virginia and pretend to be local to you. Because of this, the person that shows up at your door has not gone through Virginia’s mandatory FBI and State Police background check. In fact, the person that shows up will be unlicensed, uninsured, and hurts Virginians by not paying their state and local taxes.
Who are they?
From what I know, these scammers started out west and made their way east buying up phone numbers around major cities. They would always give a ridiculously low price and promise an on time appointment so that you don’t call another locksmith. After they arrive they evaluate the situation and jack up the price. A television station from Washington D.C. contacted one of these fake locksmiths for a car opening. They were quoted something around $35.00 and when he arrived the price went over $100.00.

Click here to see the news video.
How can I recognize them?
You can find them online and in print material. They usually buy dozens of phone numbers throughout an area in which they get a free listing in the phone book. They use names like 24 Hour Emergency Locksmith. Some even use 800 numbers and buy print advertizing. The law in Virginia states that all locksmith businesses must be licensed and all employees must be registered. What this means is that a business must maintain insurance and employees while on duty must carry a state issued DCJS photo ID. You have the right to ask for them. If they can’t produce either then you shouldn’t trust them.

How can I protect myself?

  • The law requires them to display a DCJS license number in all advertising.
  • When you call a potential locksmith ask them for their DCJS license number
  • Conduct a Business Directory search at:
  • All employees are required to carry a DCJS Photo ID card
  • Report unlicensed locksmiths by contacting DCJS at:

Don’t give someone access to your keys without first checking them out Visit: Virginia’s Department of Criminal Justice Services.