Locksmith scams have become increasingly common over the years. Unfortunately, many unsuspecting people fall prey to these scams, resulting in hundreds or even thousands of dollars lost. Locksmiths play a crucial role in our society, providing services that we all need from time to time. However, not all locksmiths are honest, and some are only interested in making a quick buck. In this article, we’ll discuss seven tips to help you avoid locksmith scams.
Do Your Research
Before hiring a residential locksmith, it’s important to do your research. Start by checking the locksmith’s website, social media pages, and online reviews. Look for any red flags, such as fake reviews or complaints from past customers. You can also check with your local Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see if any complaints have been filed against the locksmith.
A legitimate locksmith will have proper credentials, including a license and insurance. Before hiring a locksmith, ask to see their credentials and verify them with the relevant authorities. If a locksmith is hesitant to show you their credentials, it’s a red flag.
Get a Written Estimate
When you contact a locksmith, be sure to ask for a written estimate for the services you need. The estimate should include all costs, including any additional fees that may be incurred. Don’t accept verbal estimates, as they can be easily manipulated.
Avoid Lowball Estimates
If a locksmith offers you an unusually low estimate, be cautious. Scammers often use lowball estimates to lure in unsuspecting customers. Once the locksmith has started the job, they may add additional fees or charges, resulting in a much higher bill than you anticipated.
Be Wary of Locksmiths Who Arrive in Unmarked Vehicles
A legitimate locksmith will arrive in a clearly marked vehicle with the company’s name and logo displayed. If a locksmith arrives in an unmarked vehicle, it’s a red flag. Additionally, be wary of locksmiths who don’t have a physical address or operate out of a P.O. box.
Ask for Identification
When the locksmith arrives, ask to see their identification. Legitimate locksmiths will have a company ID badge or other form of identification. If the locksmith can’t produce identification, it’s a red flag.
Don’t Sign Blank Forms
Before the residential locksmith starts the job, they may ask you to sign a blank form. Don’t do it! Scammers use blank forms to add additional charges or fees after the fact. Always make sure that any forms you sign are filled out completely and accurately.
In conclusion, locksmith scams are unfortunately common, but with these seven tips, you can protect yourself and avoid falling victim to a scam. Do your research, verify credentials, get a written estimate, avoid lowball estimates, be wary of unmarked vehicles and ask for identification, and don’t sign blank forms. By following these tips, you can ensure that you’re hiring a legitimate locksmith who will provide the services you need at a fair price.