Locking yourself out of your home or vehicle is inconvenient at best, and downright panic-inducing at worst. The last thing you want to do is call for a locksmith, only to find out that you’ve been scammed. Here are our best tips to help you avoid common locksmith scams:
- Find a locksmith before you actually need one. You’re not going to be at your best during an emergency, which is why it’s a good idea to find a reputable locksmith when you don’t need one right away. Spending a few moments asking for recommendations or Googling locksmiths will pay off later.
- Check their address: If your locksmith doesn’t have a physical address, that’s a big red flag. It could mean that they’re scammers and don’t want to deal with angry “customers” showing up to ask for their money back.
- Look at their online reviews: Review sites like Yelp and Google allow users to post reviews for businesses. Check a locksmith’s online reviews before you hire them. Look for patterns and recurring themes, good and bad—a few negative outliers may not be red flags if the rest of the reviews seem positive.
- Ask for an estimate: Before you hire the locksmith, ask for an estimate. When the work is done, be sure to compare their quote to the actual estimate. If they vary wildly, find out why before you fork over your credit card.
- Ask about any additional charges: When you’re getting your estimate, be sure to ask if there are any additional charges you should expect. That way, you won’t be surprised if the bill is suddenly a lot higher than you were anticipating.
- Get it in writing: Getting the estimate and charges in writing is important—in case you do end up becoming a scam victim, you’ll have written proof of the transaction.
- Watch their vehicle: When the locksmith arrives, look at their vehicle. Professional locksmiths often advertise their business on their vehicles. If yours doesn’t, that may be a sign that they’re not running a legitimate business.
- Trust your gut: If a locksmith tells you that they’ll have to break a door or window to get in—unless you pay a lot more money for another option—don’t believe them. Approach all similar claims with extreme caution.
- Make sure your keys work: Before they leave, make sure your keys work in the lock. Test them several times before you pay.
- Don’t pay until you’re happy: Finally, if you’re not happy with the service, don’t pay. Contact the company and let them know what the problem is, such as scratching your doors or vehicle, and refuse to pay until they fix it. If you think they might be scamming you, pay with a credit card so you have some financial recourse.
Locked out? Avoid common locksmith scams by trusting qualified professionals to do the job. Get in touch with Artie’s Lock and Key to learn more about our services. Our friendly, reputable locksmiths are standing by to help.
Categorised in: Avoid Scams
This post was written by Writer