There has been a surge in the number of locksmith scams over the past years. Vehicle and homeowners are frequently targeted by these scammers. Most scams happen during desperate situations such as emergencies.
For most of us, we believe that the internet has all the answers to our problems. Is this the case though? You may probably find yourself looking for a locksmith online. Scammers take such opportunities to portray themselves as professional locksmiths. Most don’t even have appropriate locksmith training. Here are some tips that you can follow to avoid locksmith scams:
- Look For A Local Locksmith
Research on the locksmith company that you have found to get to know whether it is reliable. Call the company and ask them detailed questions to tell if they are trustworthy. Be careful with companies identifying themselves using generic terms such as “locksmith services” as opposed to specific company names.Make sure you find a locksmith company with a registered and legal business name. Make sure you confirm the location of a company that provides a specific address online. Cross-reference this address to find out if any other business is using the same address.
- Verify Identification And Licensure
Ask for the identification of your locksmith once he or she arrives. Ask for a license if necessary. A license assures you that the company has followed set out procedures required to offer locksmith services.The inquiry of your identification should be done by a legitimate locksmith. This helps them verify that the car or house that they are unlocking is indeed yours. Be wary if the locksmith is using an unmarked vehicle that doesn’t have any company logo.
- Inquire About The Cost Estimate
Untrained and unprofessional locksmiths usually quote low prices for them to attract new clients. This estimate typically rises as soon as they arrive. They end up claiming that the job was more involving than they had anticipated.Be careful when a locksmith hesitates to provide you with an estimate. The labor involved, cost of equipment and transportation are often factored in during the estimation. A typical locksmith estimate should not be less than $60. Estimates between $15 to $40 should raise an alarm.
- Ask About Additional Charges
You may have to pay additional charges for things such as mileage, emergency hours and service call minimums. Make sure you find out if there are additional charges by a locksmith company before the job.Scammers may also fool you into believing that your lock is completely damaged. They may trick you into replacing your lock. You may end up paying lots of cash to replace your lock with one that they’ll claim has high-security features. In the long run, you will end up paying much for less.
Professional locksmiths will always tell you if any additional charges are involved. They will provide precise answers regarding questions about such costs. Don’t entertain locksmith companies that will not provide you with such information.
- Take Note Of Fluctuating Bids
If the price that a company has provided over the phone does not correspond to what is on its website, don’t allow the company to fix your lock. Don’t also entertain locksmiths who demand upfront payment before they do a job. Some locksmiths may also inflate your bill after the completion of a job.Trustworthy locksmiths don’t indulge in such unscrupulous practices. They have courtesy and respect when dealing with clients. Scammers don’t have any work ethics at all.
Finding a professional locksmith company is critical for you to get quality locksmith services. You should be careful when looking for a locksmith company. Scammers may end up doing a shoddy job and charging your high extra costs. Always be careful to identify any red flags before you settle on a locksmith company.