In this article, we detail some of the most common locksmith scams for you to be on the lookout for and how to recognize a scam and stop it from being perpetrated on you. There are ways to spot a scam and tell if a locksmith is genuine, and these are noted in this article. We also give some handy tips on preventing locksmith scams.
Handy Hints to Help Avoid Locksmith Scams
Look for a locksmith with a local phone number.
Always pay attention to the locksmith’s phone number. Ideally, a qualified, legitimate locksmith should have a locally listed phone number. When searching online, checking out the locksmith’s phone number is one of the first things you should do because a local phone number tells you where this locksmith is operating.
As a general rule, you should be wary of a locksmith with an 800 phone number, as this can indicate this is not a legitimate locksmith, and by calling this number, you may be making yourself susceptible to a locksmith scam.
Look for a recognized name.
When choosing a locksmith service, always look for one with a clearly stated legal name, preferably one you recognize. A legal name is crucial because it means you can research the company, determine its legitimacy and prevent yourself from falling victim to locksmith scams. On the other hand, a locksmith business that does not display a legal business name is highly suspect and should, if possible, be avoided.
When searching for a locksmith, you should exercise due diligence. For example, take note of the locksmith’s advertised address and look it up online. If it is a local address in your area, try to establish that the address exists and if any other businesses are registered to the same address.
Look for signage on the locksmith’s vehicle.
To determine if a particular locksmith is a real deal, look for the company logo being displayed on the company car. A genuine locksmith service will always take pride in their services and take every opportunity to advertise their business. This will, in most cases, involve the company name being advertised on the company car.
Check the locksmith’s credentials.
One way to determine whether a locksmith is reputable is to check the identification credentials. Only 15 states issue a locksmith license; if you live in one of these, request the locksmith to show a locksmith’s license. If you live in a state that doesn’t require locksmiths to be licensed, you should ask for a company card or a personal ID like a driver’s license.
If you live in a state that doesn’t issue locksmith licenses, you should always be suspicious of a locksmith claiming to have a locksmith license.
Beware of suspiciously low prices.
Even though everybody appreciates lower prices, there are times when a price is so low it’s suspicious. Lower prices can be a sign that a locksmith is not genuine. One common locksmith scam is offering services at a considerably discounted price. Knowing that everybody is on the lookout for lower prices, and looking for a bargain, pretend locksmiths will usually offer their services for a considerably lower price to attract your attention.
If you want to know how to find a reputable locksmith, one of the ways is to observe the prices they are charging. This scam works by the fake locksmith quoting a significantly lower price, but the price suddenly increases substantially when doing the job. This is known as a bait and switch tactic, and it is one of the more common locksmith scams.
Remember, on average, a legitimate, qualified locksmith will charge for a service call upwards of $60. The price difference occurs because legitimate locksmiths have significant overheads that must be covered in their pricing structure. This means that when you see a locksmith offering to make a service call for 20 to 40 dollars, you are probably seeing a fake locksmith involved in locksmith scams.
Verify prices before the job commences.
One critical step in preventing locksmith scams is verifying the prices charged before the locksmith commences work. There are no guaranteed final quotes in the locksmith industry because unseen elements are always involved. However, a genuine locksmith will generally keep you updated on any unforeseen problems and the resulting price changes.
Discourage locksmiths from drilling your lock.
Wherever possible, you should discourage locksmiths from drilling your lock. The reality is that a genuine locksmith will have the necessary tools and experience to unlock just about any lock, re-key your lock, or install a new lock.
There will hardly ever be any need for drilling, and as a general rule, you should always be suspicious of a locksmith that recommends or even insists on drilling.
Do your research.
It’s common sense, yet so many people forget to do this. When looking for a locksmith, always do your research first. Make contact with the locksmith and ask detailed questions. This way, you will be able to get a better idea if they have the knowledge of a genuine locksmith and if they are who they say they are. You should also thoroughly research the locksmith online and read past customer reviews.
Ask the right questions.
One of the most important yet simple tips on preventing locksmith scams is remembering to ask the right questions. By asking the locksmith whose services you are considering engaging detailed questions, you will be able to gauge their authenticity.
Here are some of the typical questions you should ask:
- What is the locksmith’s location?
- How will the locksmith enter the house?
- Will there be any need to drill the lock?
- Can the locksmith give you an idea of how much the job will cost?
- How do you pay for the job?
This article has detailed numerous ways to avoid locksmith scams. Most of these techniques are just common sense, such as checking the locksmith’s phone number and address, conducting due diligence, researching the locksmith and asking the right questions, and generally exercising caution.
Always use a reputable locksmith.
A reputable locksmith company is one that you can rely on to do an efficient job at a reasonable price. Some locksmiths will indulge in scams and rip off customers; however, the vast majority of locksmith in Denver work for reputable locksmith companies like Alexius Denver’s Locksmiths. When dealing with a professional and reputable locksmith company, you can rest assured that your locks will be in excellent working condition, performing the functions they were designed for. Call us today to get a quote.