(CBS) — There’s a new app that could make it easier for someone to break into your house. The only thing a crook needs is a camera phone and a credit card.
You used to have to go to a locksmith and get a duplicate key cut on a machine, but today you can get a duplicate key made using your smart phone.
Both companies allow you to upload a picture of a key and then order copies.
Our keys arrived in the mail in just a few days and both were perfectly working copies of the original. There were no questions or checks to ensure that the original key belonged to our producer.
“There appears to be no verification process. You didn’t have to prove that it was your key or that that it belongs to your home,” said CBS 2 Investigative Producer Dan Blom.
That’s a problem for some traditional locksmiths as well.
“Scanning a key and having it reproduced I think has legitimate concerns,” said locksmith Jim Yocum of Earl’s Locksmith in South Suburban Lansing. “Is the key winding up in the right hands?”
The owner of Keysduplicated.com says they do take precautions with the photos.
“We ask for both sides of the key in part to make sure the person taking the picture has enough physical access to the key to turn it over,” said company founder Ali Rahimi.
Both Key.ME and KeysDuplicated.com stress that you have to have a valid credit card and email address in order duplicate keys. They argue that’s how they verify customers.
Michael Harbolt, vice president of marketing at Key.Me says it’s “process of digitally copying the key creates more control and accountability” than “a locksmith who accepts cash with no verification process at all.”
There are some high security locks and keys, like Medeco that can’t be duplicated by photo, but, if you don’t have one of those, “You have to just know where your keys are at all times,” Yocum said.
Law enforcement officials say they have not heard of those keys being used to commit a crime, yet.