With increasing number of crimes, it is really difficult to find a trustworthy and skilled worker to get any job done. The most risky is choosing a fraudulent locksmith as that can lead to a danger to your security of your premises. A number of locksmith scams have cropped up recently involving emergency lockout services. So when you accidentally lock yourself out of your home, you need to be very cautious about whom to call to help you with the lock. Use the tips below to ensure that you find a dependable, affordable, efficient, reliable and trustworthy professional locksmith and not a thief or a fraudster.
- Get referrals from friends and family or recommendations of reputable locksmiths in your area. Always look for 3rd party approval. Good locksmiths will have built strong relationships with their clientele. Be careful to only ask people you trust for references. For example, asking a stranger wouldn’t be ideal in situations that involve the integrity of your home’s security.
- Look out for similar signs to keep an open eye for scams:
- A locksmith announcing a low price for the fix and then raising the price on the labor aspect of the job.
- A locksmith worker claiming a lock is unable to be picked, then drilling it off and replacing it with a costly “extra” lock.
- Spoofing of a local, legitimate locksmith business using their address and/or a similar sounding name. Do your research if something seems to be suspicious.
- Spoofing of any local address or phone number. Be on alert when your call is readily directed to a call center who then issues a “mobile technician.”
- When the locksmith arrives, ask for identification, including a locksmith license where applicable. All the major and reputable locksmith organisations are licensed. Though carrying a license is mandatory in some states and not in others, all the states require technicians to be insured. So if he is not insured or fails to produce any relevant documents, steer clear of hiring him and find an another locksmith instead.
- Keep your guard up. Notice all the small signs. Most legitimate locksmiths arrive in clearly marked vehicles. Be wary of someone who doesn’t verify that you are the actual owner or an authorised person to have a car, home or business door that is to be unlocked. Once the work has been completed, ask for an itemised invoice that breaks down the labor charges, parts, service fee, etc. in detail. Also do not let the locksmith proceed with the unlocking work if the onsite estimate doesn’t match what you heard on the phone and also don’t hand over the credit card until the estimate has been agreed upon.
- If the locksmith suggests that it is necessary to drill open the lock and replace it, hire another locksmith instead. A legitimate and skilled locksmith has proper tools and experience to unlock almost any door.
- Before paying, get a written invoice with the company’s name or logo and lists all the fees charged clearly.
- It would be a good move to look for a reliable locksmith beforehand and list down the contact number. This way you would call the right person for the job during emergencies and would avoid hiring frauds out of haste.
- When you call a locksmith company, ask for a full legal name and address and if you are provided only with a generic name, do not hire them. Also, it is a good idea to run a quick search on the internet. Most of the legitimate locksmiths have a well-built website with all its details on it.
Keep all these points in mind and you will never have to face a fraudulent locksmith. Also, if you are satisfied with a particular locksmith, note down the contact number after the job is done. It will come in handy the next time you need to call a locksmith.