Tips to Avoid Scams in Locksmith
Locksmith scams seem to target car owners and homeowners. This usually happens during an emergency and needing fast assistance where people are most vulnerable.
By searching online for a local locksmith, a lot of customers think they are doing the right job. However, most of them do not know that locksmith frauds are using those online directories by copying genuine local locksmiths.
In a lot of cases, these locksmiths do not own a shop. They are run by call centers that are out of state. The truth is that they might not even be experienced locksmiths.
Take the time to research first the company to avoid hiring an unskilled worker or thief to solve your security issues. You can also follow these tips:
Find a Truly Local Locksmith
Researching them in advance is the ideal way to know whether a locksmith is reliable. Contact the locksmith, examine their reviews, and ask them questions that are detailed.
Be aware of locksmith firms that use generic phrases when answering calls. Most of them answer “locksmith services” instead of their company name. find another locksmith if a locksmith will not or can’t provide the legal name of the business.
Check Locksmith Licensure and ID
Ask for ID whenever the locksmith arrives. You should also ask for his/her license. Also, a genuine locksmith should ask for your ID to confirm that they are unlocking a car or house that belongs to you. Always be wary if the locksmith arrives in a vehicle that’s unmarked, or in a vehicle that’s advertising a different business name.
Ask for Cost Estimate
Usually, call center locksmiths estimate prices around $15 up to $40. By advertising low prices, these locksmiths will bait-and-switch their clients. Then, they will increase the price once the job is done. They will usually claim that the job is more difficult.
According to professionals, the average cost of a locksmith service runs around $60. If you are offered with a price ranging from $15 to $40, it may indicate a scam.
No reputable or skilled locksmith will charge $15 for a job.
Inquire About Extra Fees
Before you agree to have the work done, ask about additional fees such as service call minimums, mileage, or emergency hours. Also, the scammers may claim the lock on your car or house is obsolete and requires to be changed. To replace the locks, they will charge you a lot of money. They will claim that what they’re offering is a high-security lock.
Do not hire a locksmith if they refuse to answer your questions about additional charges.
Do not hire the locksmith if the price on their website does not match the estimate on the phone. Several fake locksmiths might demand payment after doing a bad job. They will then threaten to file a lawsuit or call the police if you do not comply.
If this happens to you, let them contact the police. A professional company will not change a quoted price drastically. You can then tell the police about what’s happening.