When hiring a locksmith, it is imperative that you follow the following tips to avoid getting scammed!
In the technological world that we now live in, it has become easier and easier for scammers to trick people into their web of lies. One industry where scammers have capitalized on the current technological times are locksmiths.
Locksmiths are people that help you get into your home, place of work, car, or any other building or vehicle of yours when you’ve locked yourself out. Thus, locksmith scammers will pretend to be legitimate locksmiths online and on the phone but are really out to steal your money and gain access to your home, office, vehicle, etc.
Because people tend to search for locksmiths when they are vulnerable and in an emergency, many people do not notice that they are being scammed by locksmith scammers until it is too late.
To ensure that you are able to tell if the locksmith you are talking to is a scammer or not, we are giving you five important tips on how to spot a scammer!
1. Tip for How to Spot a Scammer: Beware of Your Locksmith’s Location
Many locksmith scammers like to function as out-of-area call centers to scam people in as large of a geographic area as possible. Thus, many locksmith scammers will not provide a specific local address. Instead, locksmith scammers will pretend that they are local by having a generic local sounding name while still having an out-of-area 800 call center phone number.
If you call a locksmith and he or she provides a generic-sounding name and an 800 number, he or she is probably a scammer. In fact, you should avoid any locksmith with an 800 number at all.
Also, if the locksmith you are talking to does provide you with a local sounding name, location, and/or address, make sure to thoroughly look up and research that name, location, and/or address to ensure that there are no other companies or people using that same location, name, and/or address. You should even try to find multiple credible reviews on your local locksmith prior to hiring him or her.
2. Check the Locksmith’s ID and Licensure
Prior to allowing a locksmith to do any work on a building or vehicle, it is imperative that you check the locksmith’s ID and license. 15 states require locksmiths to have a locksmith license. Those 15 states are Alabama, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.
If you live in one of those states and a locksmith cannot show you his or her state locksmith license, do not hire him or her. If you do not live in a state that requires locksmiths to have a license, you should still ask for your locksmith’s ID to find evidence of his or her credibility.
Reliable locksmiths will even ask you for your ID to verify that the car or building that he or she is breaking into belongs to you. So, if your locksmith cannot provide a locksmith license and/or ID and does not ask you for your ID prior to working, it’s likely a scam.
3. Ask for an Estimate
It is important to ask for an estimate of the cost of locksmith services prior to hiring a locksmith for a car or building. Many locksmith scammers will first provide you with a low cost of services, and then increase the price once they arrive at your place.
The average locksmith services cost around $60. If a locksmith initially says his or her services cost around $15 to $40, it is a scam.
Do not hire a locksmith that refuses to provide you with an estimate prior to hiring him or her.
4. Beware of Extra Charges
One way to pick up on locksmith scams is to notice if the locksmith tries to add extra charges for random things when he or she gets to you. To avoid this locksmith scammer trick, ask about any possible extra charges prior to hiring a locksmith.
If a locksmith tries to avoid telling you the extra charges that can occur before meeting with you or is very vague about possible extra charges, do not hire him or her. Also, do not hire a locksmith that suddenly talks about extra charges when meeting with you in person that you two did not discuss beforehand.
5. Do Not Let a Locksmith Drill or Replace Your Lock
Reliable locksmiths are skilled enough to unlock most locks without having to drill or replace your lock. In fact, only high-security locks should need drilling to unlock. Thus, if your locksmith insists on drilling or replacing your lock, it is likely a locksmith scam.
You Can Never Ask Too Many Questions
At the end of the day, you pay locksmiths to provide you with a service. So, ask as many questions as you need to to feel confident that your locksmith is not a scammer.
To learn more information about locksmiths that will help you learn how to spot a scammer, check out our other blog articles.