Locksmiths are a part and parcel of our daily lives as they play a huge role in keeping our locks safe. However, not everyone in the locksmith trade has your best interest at heart. Sometimes they may even try to scam you of your hard-earned money.
In this article, we will try to learn about these scams and Know More so that you can avoid falling victim to their unscrupulous designs.
How the scams work?
The most common scenario where you will seek assistance from a locksmith service provider is when you get locked out of your property. The next thing you will likely do is look up online and call the first available locksmith for your assistance.
There are many companies out there who pay the search engines to be listed on top of search results. However, there is no telling if these companies are genuine or not. The consumer, in this case, often believes that they reached a legitimate business and request for help. But what they don’t know is that the service provider they think is operating locally, is actually a call centre some thousands of miles away. They take on humblest tone and promise the distressed caller support in the next 30-45 minutes and quote their nominal fee. But locksmith scams don’t usually pan out like this.
Firstly, the service provider may not even arrive within the stipulated time. Secondly, when they do reach your place, their vehicles are often private with indiscernible license plates. In an ideal situation, this should set an alarm in your head. But considering you need help immediately, you may overlook these warning signs and allow the “professional” into your home. A genuine locksmith will try to give you the most affordable solution that they can fix right on the spot. But a scammer will make you believe that the damage is irreversible and that you would need to replace the entire locking system which would naturally cost you a lot.
How to protect yourself from scammers?
The best and the safest thing to do when you hire a locksmith is to ask about their license. Don’t hesitate to ask them for a copy when they arrive at your doorstep to fix the issue. Moreover, they should also have tell-tale signs of belonging to a legitimate business such as a uniform, a marked van, proper tools etc. Unless the locksmith provides you with a license for verification, it is advisable to not allow them to work on your premises.
Additionally, while you are waiting for the locksmith, you should also run a quick check about the company online. Look for local business reviews, check website for business contact information, read up third-party testimonials etc. These preliminary checks will help you determine the authenticity of the person claiming to be an expert.
If you are not in a rush, then another way of sourcing locksmith help is to ask your trusted friends and relatives for recommendations.
Why do these scams work?
The most common reason why these scamsters are able to take advantage of your situation is that nobody plans for emergencies such as loss of key, lockouts etc. This is the reason it is always better to have a trusted locksmith on hand for just these kind of emergencies. Keeping them on your speed dial will ensure that you call the right professional in your hour of need.
However, despite the importance of a reliable locksmith in your life, it is surprising how so many people have never even met one in their lives! Anytime they need something done with their keys, people end up taking help from kiosks at the mall or simply at a hardware store. But it is very important that you call a trained locksmith instead because they know how to handle your expensive locks and keys properly. Besides, they can also guide you with their expertise to buy the right locking systems in case you need lock replacement or rekeying.
When done the right way, it is actually quite simple to find a locksmith you can trust and rely on in case of urgent situations.
If you are looking for one, then use the following tips:
- Search online for local locksmiths operational in your area. Make sure they offer you one-stop-solution for all your locking systems.
- Ask about experience, certification, and license. Every locksmith should be able to produce satisfactory documents for these.
- Meet them in person before hiring. This is important to assess their customer service level and eagerness to help you.
Read this article thoroughly and educate yourself if you want to avoid expensive and embarrassing locksmith scams.