Top 7 Tips To Avoid Locksmiths Scams

locksmith scam

Find out how to avoid locksmiths scams with the help of our tips. Call On Time Locksmiths for a reliable and authorized locksmith service.

Being locked out of a car, office or your own home is one of the most dreaded things in the life of any person. Lots of people try to handle the situation on their own and they usually end up causing property damage, injuring themselves, and making matters worse. Instead of calling a professional locksmith to help them out, they decide to use DIY methods they have seen online, wasting precious time and energy. But what happens when you do contact a locksmith, and they prove to be a real nightmare? 

Locksmith scams are unfortunately one of the main reasons why some people continue to think twice before calling a locksmith when they are confronted with an emergency. Con-artists who try to scam people will usually overcharge the original price agreed upon over the phone. This is the so-called bait-and-switch tactic, and it is not the only method used by these crooks. To come to your help and make sure you can avoid the hassle of dealing with a locksmith scammer, here are a few guidelines.

Tip #1: Check They Are Legitimate Locksmiths

While only 14 US states require locksmiths to be licensed in order to practice, it is an excellent idea to at least make sure the service you plan on hiring is a legitimate one. Plus, a lot of locksmiths who do not live in states that require locksmiths to be licensed choose to get licensed. An authorized lock technician should have no problem with showing written proof of their licensing, upon request. If you come across someone who refuses to show you any proof and who is also acting shady when asking for their physical address, you may be dealing with a scammer.

You can either go online and simply look for any listing of physical addresses and licensing numbers on their website, or give them a call. If your efforts are to no avail, move on and look for a different service and avoid turning into a victim to this type of locksmith scam.

Tip #2: Read Reviews Online

Yes, some of the positive reviews you may read online from so-called formed customers may be the work of the locksmiths' marketing efforts. In other words, they may be fake and you should pay close attention to the way they are written. However, most reviews are usually legitimate, especially if you can find them on specialized websites that enable people to express their views and talk about their personal experiences with various types of services.

If you see a lot of one-star reviews and dissatisfied customers speaking about the way they were overcharged, pay real attention to them. Better yet, think about using a different service.

Tip #3: Get It In Writing

If the locksmith you want to hire refuses to give you an estimate over the phone, claiming they need to be there in person to assess the matter, it might be a red flag. Most reliable locksmiths have no problem displaying their transparent service prices on their websites. They should also be fine with giving you estimates over the phone. An experienced locksmith should know exactly what questions to ask in order to ballpark the final costs.

Tip #4: Ask About Any Additional Fees

Most locksmith scams involve charging extremely low prices compared to the market average, then suddenly adding extra charges and fees once the job is completed. Make sure you are familiar with all of the fees and charges that will be added to the estimate you have received over the phone. Also, see that this estimate also matches the sum you will be asked to pay on site. If this is not the case, immediately call their main office and fix things. You can also call the local authorities to have things sorted out in case things escalate.

Tip #5: Never Let Them Break A Window

If you come across a so-called locksmith who tells you they will need to break a window or a door in order to unlock your home, office, or car, avoid hiring them. They will usually tell you that they can use a less invasive solution that will cost you a lot more. Do not trust them; a good, reputable, and well-experienced locksmith will never shatter a window or a door and cause any other property damage in order to allow you to re-enter your home or vehicle.

Tip #6: Look For Suspicious Behavior

Did the locksmith arrive a couple of hours later than the original estimated time you received over the phone? What about the van they are driving? Can you see any company logo, customer phone number, company name, and other similar proof of identification? Are the technicians wearing overalls with inscribed company name and logo? Do they have any name tags on display? Are they carrying toolboxes and specific items locksmiths usually have on them? A sign that you have come across a service that is not legitimate is the presence of an unmarked car at your address.

Tip #7: Always Inspect Their Work

Always check and make sure that the locks on your front door, office, or vehicle are working fine after the locksmiths' job is done. Insert the keys into the lock a few times and ensure you can lock and unlock the doors hassle-free. Look for scratches, dents, and other signs of property damage. If they are present, refuse to pay for the services and call their office. Also, if your newly installed or picked locks are not working the way they should be, make sure you ask them to fix things.

For more information, or for a reliable, legitimate locksmith service, call OnTimeLocksmiths today!

What Customers Say About Us

Jannie W.
W. 29th street
 

Dave is great! He was punctual and professional. And after installing the new locks on all of our doors, he cleaned up after himself! The same cannot be said for the last service I hired… would definitely recommend and use again!

Adrian Stanton
S Kenton Ave
 

We live not too far from Chicago and I spend about a hour and a half to get to my office. Mornings are always in a hurry for me and a broken door would be the worst I could expect. However, this was exactly what happened. I had no time to lose and so I called 247 Ontime Locksmiths. The expert guy from Locksmiths could fix the problem and I could go to work.

Tim Lewis
E Van Buren St
 

My car door didn’t open at all. Just a phone call to 24/7 Local Locksmiths and in less than 15 minutes I could drive my car again! Good job!