Criminal charges have been filed against an Overland Park locksmith
who is believed to be part of a nationwide ring accused of overcharging and deceiving customers.
FOX 4 Problem
Solvers first warned you about these overcharges months ago. On Wednesday, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster filed two
felony charges against Yosef Amitay.
The probable cause statement said Amitay worked for Dependable Locks, a company
based out of Florida that illegally employs Israelis to work as locksmiths all over the US.
In addition to those
state charges, federal officials have filed criminal charges against the two men believed to be behind Dependable Locks, David
Peer and Moshe Aharoni. Eliyahu Barhanun of Creve Coeur, Missouri was also charged.
Koster said together the men
were operating a national network that instructed locksmiths to charge up to $179 to open a locked door, instead of the quoted
price of $54. Koster said there were hundreds of victims across Missouri.
The US Postal Inspectors have established
a hot line for those believing they are victims of this scheme. The phone will not be manned, however, callers will be asked
to leave contact information, which will trigger an investigative response. The phone number is 314-539-9441.
Attorney General Koster sues unscrupulous locksmith company
City, Mo. -- Attorney General Chris Koster took action today to stop a Florida locksmith company from deceiving and
overcharging customers in Kansas City.
According to the Attorney General, Dependable Locks, Inc., violated Missouri
law by fraudulently advertising itself by at least 16 different names that all led consumers to one company. In addition,
company workers charged consumers 2-3 times more than the price quoted them to unlock their cars.
company clearly has deceived Missourians, tricking them into using their business and then overcharging them," Koster
said. "Today I filed suit to stop Dependable Locks, Inc., from defrauding customers and to make restitution to them."
Koster said investigators in the Attorney General's office also found that addresses listed for the different business
names were bogus, and led to vacant lots and even homes of individuals not associated with the company. In addition, this
locksmith company operated under business names that were not registered with the Missouri Secretary of State as required
to conduct business in Missouri.
Koster is urging anyone who believes they have been a victim of Dependable Locks,
Inc., to contact his consumer hotline at 800-392-8222 or to go online at www.ago.mo.gov.
In addition, Koster has notified
AT&T that it is carrying deceptive advertisements and demanded that the phone company take all appropriate steps to remove
the ads, including immediately removing them from electronic sites such as "The Real Yellow Pages" and yellowpages.com.
The following are some of the alternate business names used by Dependable Locks, Inc.:
- A #1 24 Hour Locksmith
- A 24 Hour locksmith
- AAA 24 & 7 day Locksmith
- A Always Available 24 Hour Locksmith
Emergency A Locksmith
- A Locksmith Always 24 Hour
- A Locksmith A 1-24 Hour
- A Locksmith 00 24 Hour
- A Locksmith O Always 24 hour
- A Locksmith Service 24 hour
- A Locksmith 24 Hour Emergency
- A Kansas City #1 Emergency Locksmith
- 24 hour A Locksmith At St. Louis
- 24 hour A Locksmith
- 0 24 Hour Locksmith
Inquiries from consumers should be directed to email@example.com or 1-800-392-8222 (from within Missouri) or 573-751-3321 (outside Missouri).
All media inquiries
should be directed to the Communications Office.
E-mail Phone: 573-751-8844 Fax: 573-751-5818