Coming into the holiday season, I wanted to share some valuable information about How to Avoid Locksmith Scams
12 WAYS TO AVOID LOCKSMITH SCAMS
Don’t wait until you’re locked out at night in the cold to contact a locksmith. Know ahead of time who you’d call, should you ever need locksmith service. And keep that number in your phone, wallet, purse and car.
- First find their address on their ad or website. Try to find customer reviews on Yelp, Angie’s List or other web-directories. This will give you good indication that they are a legitimate company.
- Don’t wait till you need them before calling them; call them simply to learn a few things: 1) Where are their technicians based? 2) Are they insured? 3) What is the registered name of the business? If at this point you don’t get good vibes from them, end the transaction. Otherwise, then ask about their preliminary cost estimate. An unbelievably low quote (like $20) probably means a scam or hidden costs.
- Look for businesses with local phone numbers; toll-free numbers usually indicate a scam company.
- If they answer your phone call with a generic name such as “locksmith services,” be suspicious. If they can’t give a specific business name, move on.
- When it’s time to hire a locksmith, inform the dispatcher that you would like a written estimate prior to the service.
- Before having them come out, make sure you get information about any extra charges such as for mileage, service call minimums or emergency hours.
- Check the locksmith’s vehicle; it should be marked, and get the license number.
- Ask to see his locksmith license. The following states require locksmiths to be licensed: Alabama, California, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia.
- If the locksmith insists on cash, this may mean a scam.
- If the technician won’t give a written estimate before starting the job, end the transaction.
- If the onsite estimate doesn’t match the phone estimate, do not permit the job to be performed.
- Don’t pay until you’re satisfied with the job.