Have you ever been in a dreadful situation where you are locked out of your apartment or car with no spare keys in access? Of course, we all have been in one such situation. But, that is not the worst thing ever.
On top of it, some unfortunate homeowners have faced scam issues with locksmiths! Yes, with locksmiths! Even though locksmiths are supposed to be these trustworthy people one can entrust their security with.
But, one can never be too careful. People have literally been robbed in the name of a simple key replacement. Hence are some tips you can follow to avoid locksmith scams.
Tips to Avoid Locksmiths Scams
- 1. Verify the Legitimacy of the locksmith
- 2. Always go through the reviews
- 3. Clarify all the details in advance of booking
- 4. Inquire about any extra charges or fee
- 5. Verify that the invoice matches the cost estimate
- 6. Pay attention to the vehicle your locksmith drives
- 7. Do not blindly trust anything a locksmith tells you
- 8. Make sure you are given all details in written form
- 9. Do not pay a penny until you are satisfied
- 10. Try paying using your credit card
- 11. Use your voice in case of scam
Prior to hiring any locksmith, it is a rule of the thumb to investigate and verify their authenticity or legitimacy. Many times the scam-artists or fake locksmiths do not provide a real address on their websites. That is a red flag.
If you cannot find the company location of a locksmith, you are better off looking elsewhere.
The quickest way to analyze the credibility of any local service let alone a locksmith is by reading the past customer reviews. You can easily access genuine reviews on social media pages and even website testimonials. Pay close attention to how the negative reviews are responded to.
Before you jump on to saving the contact number of that locksmith under the emergency contact list, a smart approach is to phone the person and verify all the details in advance. Ask about their experience, address, certifications, specialty, and of course, the pricing!
Many locksmith scams are the ones in which the upfront price is of a lower value while the invoice is hefty. This is because these scam artists force you to pay hidden charges. Make sure you clarify the extra costs right from the get-go.
When you schedule a meeting with a locksmith, ask him to provide you a written cost estimate. Then when you are presented with the invoice, make sure the amount matches with the initial estimate. Do not pay a penny extra.
Upon arrival, check the kind of vehicle your locksmith drives. Many locksmiths put up a facade of working with a well-known company while they are just fishing for shady ways to gain access to your house. People working for companies arrive in cars with logos or at least their bikes are marked with the company logo.
In case your locksmith tells you that they need to break your entire door or window glass to gain access from inside, do not, we repeat do not blindly trust their word. Not only this is dangerous, but you will be left with a hefty bill for a job that wasn’t required in the first place.
Upon inquiry of a rough cost estimate, make sure you get everything in writing on a paper that is marked with the company’s logo. This way you won’t be surprised by any hidden charges.
Never pay the locksmith until you are fully satisfied with the job he has done. What is the point of paying an amateur when he opens your car’s locked door but puts multiple scratches? Think about it!
When you pay someone in cash and they turn out to be a scam, you cannot virtually reverse it. However, credit cards are scam protected and the charges can be reversed if a formal complaint is filed and verified.
Let’s say that you do get scammed. The odds are we all once in our lifetimes are a victim of scams. In case you are, do not stay silent. Get in touch with the relevant authorities, file a complaint, spread the word on social media, and help someone out.