Category : Locksmith
How did you happen across this post? Hopefully, you did not get caught up with one of these locksmith scammers! The reports have been out all across the country for years now, and the problem is only getting worse.
These scammers are preying on vulnerable people stuck in a jam, looking for a cheap way out of their predicament. Spotting these scammers may be easier than you think, and avoiding them is even easier as long as you know what to do before you need a locksmith.
Spot The Locksmith Scammers
Spotting them isn’t always the easiest thing to do since they are getting better at blending in. However, they usually do not have much in the way of company markings anywhere on them.
Their shirts usually do not have a logo, and neither do their vehicles or invoices. Their prices are usually too good to be true (which is always the case), and we know what that means.
These fake locksmiths use the phone book, and other marketing means just as any other locksmith would. However, they use fake addresses that would likely lead you to an empty building or a business that has nothing to do with locksmithing in any way. They may also use local phone numbers that route to a call center which will quote a price that sounds very reasonable.
Unfortunately, the masterminds behind these operations usually can rank high in Google search results while offering their services for dirt cheap prices. However, as we have already stated, these prices are too good to be true, and if you find yourself using their services, you will soon find this out as well.
They will offer services below 20 dollars and dramatically increase the prices upon arrival. Some people pay, others refuse and call the police.
The most common tactic used is the bait and switch, which is basically what we have talked about so far. These scammers reel in their victims with their low prices and then perform work while increasing the price by insane amounts. They then may use scare tactics to make the victims feel as if they have no other choice but to pay them.
Many people believe that they have no choice since the only thing standing between them and entry to their home or car is a hefty bill, they then pay it and move on.
Avoid Locksmith Scammers
How do we avoid these locksmith scammers? Well, it is easy! All we have to do is find a local locksmith and confirm that they are a legit local locksmith. Check ratings and verify the address if they are a brick and mortar operation.
Get a firm quote and do not settle for anything ending with “such and such a price and up”. If they insist on cash as their only method of payment, this could be a scam, so beware. Do not pay for the services until the services are complete and you are happy with the job. If they say they have to drill you lock, ask why.
It is very common that a scammer locksmith will just want to drill your everyday run of the mill lock. Any real locksmith should be able to pick or bypass these locks without drilling (some ordinary locks like the Kwikset Smartkey would be an exception).
To reduce the chances of being blindsided after the work is complete, get a written estimate before the locksmith beginning work.
1) Check their validity through Google and other directory listings.
2) You should find a legit locksmith before getting stuck in a jam. Go ahead and do some research now while the adrenaline and panic are at a low.
3) Ask about extra charges that may crop up during the process from start to finish
4) If cash is the only option for payment, avoid these people
5) If they cannot provide a written estimate, call someone else
6) You should question the locksmith when he states that a lock needs drilling. Most locksmiths can pick everyday locks.
7) Wait until after the job is complete to pay the locksmith
How Serious is this Problem?
The videos posted here are not my work, merely videos I feel represent the seriousness of the issue at hand.