Whether you misplaced the key to your home or you locked your car keys in your vehicle, there may come a time when you need to call on the help of a mobile locksmith in Fairfax, VA. While there are many reputable locksmiths out there, there are an unfortunate number of people who use locksmithing as a front for a scam. These people will often ask for hundreds of dollars in exchange for picking your lock or replacing your lock entirely. Scammers make money by over-charging and being deceptive about their practices. It’s important that you are aware of these scams so that you can find a reputable locksmith in your area.
What a scam looks like
So, how does a locksmith scam usually play out? First, you’ll find the phone number for a mobile locksmith online. When you call, you will usually be greeted with a generic phrase like “locksmithing services” rather than an actual business name. Next, they will dispatch a locksmith to you, who will arrive in an unmarked van or vehicle. They will try to pick your lock but insist, falsely, that it’s impossible, and claim that you have to replace the lock entirely. They will charge you upwards of $1,000 for the installation of your new lock and require that you pay in cash. In many cases, you will have to replace the lock again because of the poor quality of the installation work.
Here are some major red flags to watch out for:
- 800 numbers: In most cases, you can rule out locksmiths with 800 numbers right off the bat. Most of these locksmiths are not legitimate and could be trying to scam you.
- Unmarked vans: Businesses that are proud of their reputation and want to generate buzz in the community will drive vehicles that clearly display their logo and contact information. Unmarked vehicles and vans are a clear red flag and indicate that the locksmith has something to hide or is trying to fly under the radar.
- Vague estimates: A trusted locksmith will give you a quote for services up front. If a locksmith seems to be avoiding quoting an exact price, or even giving you a ballpark estimate, move on to a different mobile locksmith in Fairfax, VA.
- Insistence on replacement: If your locksmith tells you that they can’t pick your lock and they have to replace it, they are likely being dishonest with you. A good locksmith usually has the skills and equipment necessary to crack even the most challenging locks. In many cases, a locksmith who claims that a lock can’t be picked is simply trying to get you to pay for a costly lock replacement and installation.
At Artie’s Lock and Key, we want to make sure that our customers don’t fall prey to a locksmithing scam. That’s why we are dedicated to offering reputable service that our clients can rely on, regardless of what they need. We’ve been developing a reputation within the community for over 40 years, and we continue to be committed to delivering consistent service at fair rates that won’t break the bank.
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