Unmasking Locksmith Scams: A Guide to Distinguish Genuine Professionals from Fraudsters
When it comes to securing our homes and businesses, locksmiths play a crucial role in ensuring our safety. However, the locksmith industry is not immune to scams and fraudulent practices. In this blog post, we’ll explore how to distinguish between a genuine locksmith and a potential scammer to help you make informed decisions when seeking locksmith services.
Be Wary of Companies That Drill
One of the first things that should indicate if a company is illegitimate is if they attempt to drill your lock without even attempting to pick it first. In a vast majority of lockouts, drilling is wholly unnecessary. With a few exceptions, a locksmith who immediately jumps to drilling or destroying your lock is likely not in fact a legitimate locksmith. We spend years honing our skills in lockpicking, and attend annual training seminars as well as purchasing the most modern equipment to stay up to date on the newest technology produced by lock manufacturers.
Research the Company’s Reputation
Thanks to the internet, researching a locksmith’s reputation is easier than ever. Look for reviews on reputable websites, social media platforms, and business directories. Genuine locksmiths usually have a positive track record with satisfied customers. If you come across numerous negative reviews, complaints about hidden fees, or reports of unprofessional behavior, consider it a red flag.
Ask for an Estimate Before Services
A trustworthy locksmith will provide a clear and detailed estimate before starting any work. Scammers, on the other hand, may quote a low price over the phone but inflate the cost once they arrive on-site. Be wary of locksmiths who are unwilling to provide an estimate or are vague about their pricing structure.
Inquire About Additional Fees
Some locksmith scams involve hidden fees that are only revealed after the job is completed. Ask the locksmith about any potential additional charges, such as emergency service fees, mileage fees, or after-hours fees. A legitimate locksmith will be transparent about their pricing, while scammers may try to add unexpected costs to the final bill.
Verify Identification and Vehicle
When a locksmith arrives, ask to see their identification and take note of the vehicle they arrive in. Legitimate locksmiths often have marked vehicles and wear uniforms with company logos. Scammers may arrive in unmarked vehicles, lacking proper identification. If something feels off, trust your instincts and consider canceling the service.
Pay Attention to Communication
Effective communication is a hallmark of professionalism. Genuine locksmiths will provide clear and concise information, answer your questions, and address your concerns. If a company avoids your questions, is evasive, or communicates poorly, (i.e. says they will have a tech call you and you never hear back) be cautious, as these may be signs of a scam.
In conclusion, while locksmiths are essential for our security, it’s crucial to be vigilant to avoid falling victim to scams. By checking for licensing, researching the company’s reputation, asking for estimates, inquiring about additional fees, verifying identification, and paying attention to communication, you can increase your chances of avoiding getting scammed by an illegitimate company. Stay informed and empowered to make the right choice when it comes to securing your property.