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Everything You Need To Know About Locksmith Scams

Getting scammed is never pleasant, no matter if it's for a small amount of your hard-worked money or for a significant lump sum at the end of a complex pyramid scheme or fraud attack. Unfortunately, scam calls have cost the American people no less than $19.7 billion. What is even more disturbing is the fact that this mind-blowing amounts was, in fact, larger than the 2019 figure with 9.2 billion, making 2020 the year with the largest amount of money list because of call scams and frauds in the past seven years.  Among these unfortunate people, over 250,000 Americans have fallen victim to locksmith scams, and if you or someone you know have experienced such a scam recently, these next few tips should help you stay better protected next time you need to hire a locksmith to handle a home, business, or automotive security issue.

Tip #1: Pay Attention To The Way They Answer The Phonelocksmith scams

This is not just a mater of rating the politeness or friendliness of the customer support team trained to answer the phone and put you in touch with the nearest locksmith to solve your problem. There are certain things you will need to concern yourself with:

  • See if they answer the phone using a generic phrase like “locksmith company” or “locksmith services" instead of providing a certain business name.

  • Make sure they can provide you with as many details and answers to your questions as possible. Have them explain to you the way the their will be billing you, whether they charge any additional, special fees for certain services they might not be mentioning on their website, the tools they work with, whether they sell branded locks or ignition switches and so on.

Tip #2: What Car Are They Driving?

We are not talking about the made and model or whether they are driving a luxury car. However, it a professional locksmith company should be driving a good or at least decent van or car that is spacious enough to store their heavy tool boxes and bulkier key cutting equipment. Locksmiths' vans should also drive a car that is in good shape and periodically checked by mechanics so the technicians can reach all clients' addresses and roadside locations in the estimated time. Often times, speed is of the essence when looking for emergency lockout services for a jammed key in the ignition problem or a lost key problem in cars or vans.  Also, pay attention to the exterior of their van and see it is marked with their company or business name.

Tip #3: Pay Attention To The Estimates

Make sure you get a written price quote prior to the locksmiths initiating their work and always ask for a receipt at the end of the repair or replacement job. Provided you are in need of a locksmith who will quickly change or re-key a broken or damaged lock or cut a duplicate for you on the spot, see that you get the exact estimates for all the steps of the process, including any new parts, locks, and keys that you will be given.  Most locksmiths display transparent and detailed locksmith rates on their websites, so make sure to take as much time as you to also carefully study these as well. Use their online forms, email, or customer support numbers to get in touch with them and ask any additional questions you might still need answers to.

Tip #4: What Kind Of Door Unlock Practices Do They Use?

Another good tip to avoid locksmith scams refers to a clear assessment of the way the technicians plan on handling your lock, key, or ignition problem: will they drill the lock, claiming it is a model they cannot pick using their regular tools? Will they use advanced lock picks parts of complex sets that all professional locksmiths usually work with? Will they cause any damage to the lock, door and any nearby windows or other amenities in order to restore your access to the building or create duplicate car keys? The best locksmiths know just how to tackle each of these issues and many more using the most suitable expert tools that are always part of their toolboxes.

Tip #5: Pay Attention To The Bait And Switch Trick

Do not allow yourself to be scammed out of your money with a classic “bait and switch” trick which consists of a locksmith giving you a small price estimate by phone or in person for home or car unlocking job, only to end up charging you some tremendously high fees once they will be job unlocking the respective door.  Make sure you always get the most detailed, transparent, and comprehensive price quotes and ask the locksmiths to clearly specify if they need to perform any additional tasks, repair work or part replacement that were not part of the original job you have agreed upon. This way, they will not have any reason to charge you more than the estimate and you should be able to avoid falling into their trap and thus successfully prevent locksmith scams.

Tip #6: Keep Your Guard Up!

Make sure you always double-check the reviews, ratings, and recommendations issues by people you may or may not know before hiring a locksmith service you have never worked with in the past. Pay special attention to companies that have received one-star ratings and see what precious customers have to say about them, so you know what to keep a close eye on.

Finally, remember if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Try not to believe any outlandish claims, especially if the locksmiths say they need to cause damage to a window in order to pick a lock and offer you a very expensive replacement that would prevent something like that from happening in the future.