⦁ Phony Listings:
Scammers create multiple fake listings online, often with generic names like “AAA Locksmith” to appear legitimate. These listings flood search results, making it difficult to distinguish between genuine and fraudulent locksmiths.
⦁ Bait-and-Switch Pricing:
Scammers typically provide a low estimate over the phone, but when they arrive, they claim the job is more complex than expected, resulting in a much higher price. This sudden change is a common tactic.
⦁ “Emergency” Situations:
Deceptive locksmiths advertise themselves as emergency services, preying on your sense of urgency when you’re locked out. They may pressure you into quick decisions, leaving you little time to vet them properly.
⦁ Unmarked Vehicles:
Legitimate locksmiths usually arrive in marked vehicles with their company name and logo. Scammers often use unmarked, generic vehicles to avoid detection.
⦁ Lack of Credentials:
Scammers lack proper licenses, certifications, and insurance. They may offer excuses or provide fake documentation when asked for proof.
⦁ Cash-Only Transactions:
Scammers insist on cash payments, making it difficult to dispute charges or trace the transaction. Reputable locksmiths offer multiple payment options.
Deceptive locksmiths may add unnecessary charges to the invoice, such as a service fee, call-out fee, or drilling fee, even if these were not discussed beforehand.
⦁ Drilling Unnecessarily:
Some scammers claim they need to drill your lock, which can be expensive to replace, when in reality, they could use non-destructive techniques.
⦁ Lock Damage:
Scammers may intentionally damage your locks to ensure you call them again for future services.
⦁ Unresolved Complaints:
Avoid locksmiths with a history of unresolved complaints, negative reviews, or shady business practices.
⦁ Lack of Identification:
Scammers often lack proper identification and may not be willing to provide it upon request.
⦁ Refusing Estimates:
Legitimate locksmiths will provide a clear estimate before starting any work. Scammers may avoid giving you a precise figure.
Locksmith scams can be incredibly frustrating, but with awareness of their deceptive methods, you can protect yourself from falling victim. Stay vigilant, research locksmiths in advance, and ask for recommendations from trusted sources. By being informed and cautious, you can avoid becoming a target of locksmith scams and ensure that you receive honest, professional service when you need it most.