Locksmith Scam

12 Ways to Avoid Locksmith Scams

The phrase ‘better safe than sorry’ never loses its relevance. When it comes to finding a locksmith, it is better to have a few names at hand before the need to call upon them arises. The knowledge of locksmith scams has been around for decades. While this profession is most luring for those with questionable intentions, you cannot ignore the need of locksmiths. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), it is common for locksmiths to use similar names to ride on someone else’s popularity. So, the next time you find the need to call upon a locksmith, take the necessary precautions to avoid being a victim of a locksmith scam. The following suggestions will help you with that.

 

  1. Google it: Yes, Google is the most hacked-into search engine when it comes to placing fake companies, but it doesn’t hurt to look up the company. Type locksmiths near me and see the options that pop up and look for each one’s online presence. If the listed number goes straight to a recorded message call another service.
  2. Make a call: Call on them just to find out the basic information on where they are placed? What is the expertise they hold? Is the company insured? What name is the company registered under? Where is the technician placed? What is the preliminary estimation? If at any time the information seems evasive, the company is most likely a scam.
  3. Local telephone number: Is the listed number toll-free or local? Only local numbers are legitimate businesses.
  4. Demand for a written estimate: If the locksmith services deter from giving a written estimate, look for another safe locksmith.
  5. Extra cost: Ensure that you’re aware of the extra charges if any.
  6. License: 15 states require a practicing locksmith to carry their license at all times. If the locksmith has left his/her ID back in the office, find another locksmith.
  7. No to card payment: If a locksmith accepts only cash, it is surely a scam.
  8. Locksmith’s vehicle: Every company loves advertising. The same goes for locksmiths. The industry is so competitive that reputed locksmiths don’t pass an opportunity to brand their company. One common canvas for advertisement is the company cars. If the locksmith arrives in an unmarked car, it is a scam.
  9. Un-matching estimates: Ask for a second estimate before getting to work. If the estimate you received on the phone greatly varies from the one the locksmith gives, say thank you and look for another service.
  10. Vague answers on the phone: If the call is answered with a generic name like ‘locksmith services’ without providing a specific business name, become suspicious.
  11. Insurance: A reputable locksmith service is insured should they damage your property. Do not hire a company which is not insured.
  12. Can the work be done without damaging the lock: This is an important question to ask, more like a litmus test! If the locksmith is genuine, drilling or damaging the lock is generally the last option.
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