Portland, Ore. — Bill Blanchard was born into the locksmith business. His family opened its first key shop in Southwest Portland in 1987. He started working for his family when he was When asked for identification the man, Michael Notas, showed us his Oregon driver’s license and a California locksmith license due to expire on February 29, 2016.
State regulators said Notas is not a certified locksmith in Oregon, nor does he have a Construction Contractors Board license. He should not be working as a locksmith in Oregon.
Records show Notas is a convicted felon. He pleaded guilty to felony DUI- Causing Bodily Injury in California in 2009.
In 2014, Multnomah County prosecutors charged Notas with Felon in Possession of a Restricted Weapon. He had a dagger, according to court documents.
There are excellent locksmiths that work out of cars and vans, although most of them have vehicles with a company name.
When confronted with a KGW camera and microphone, Notas said he needed to call his boss.
“I tried to charge him $159, like everybody, all day long,” Notas tried to explain. “He is the guy from the news!”
To protect yourself from bogus locksmiths:
Check to make sure the locksmith you are calling is certified. Call the CCB (503-378-4621) with a certification number or name or visit the CCB website (www.oregon.gov/ccb) and use the “search” feature.
Avoid any company that answers the phone with a generic phrase such as “locksmith services” rather than a specific company name.
Be wary of locksmiths in unmarked cars or trucks.
Ask for ID with name and address.
Get a written estimate on company letterhead, with all charges and fees, before work begins.
Once you’ve found a reputable locksmith, keep the company’s name and contact information in your cell phone.
just 6 years old.
“LocksmithiYou may be quoted a price on the phone, but when the locksmith arrives, often in an unmarked vehicle, he often wants significantly more money or claims to only accept payments in cash,” wrote Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum.
To test this scenario, we locked our keys in a 1998 Honda Civic. We got three quotes by phone from legitimate locksmiths of $ng is something that you have to be passionate about,” said Blanchard, who now runs the family business, AMAX Security Solutions.
A few years ago, Blanchard says the industry took an unexpected rtland” located at 1728 Southwest Jefferson St. That was a Subway restaurant.
“15 Min Emergency Locksmith” was listed at 1200 Southwest Main Street. That was a church.
“It allows you to list a fake address to give a consumer the false sense of security that they believe they are calling somebody that is near them, and they’re not really calling somebody who’s near them,” said Blanchard.
These call centers often send out poorly trained subcontractors to help open your car or your home. Once they arrive, consumers complain that many online locksmiths jack up the price.
In 2013, the Oregon Department of Justice warned consumers to be on alerturn. Legitimate locksmiths fo