Locksmith scams describe the process via which you encounter a fake locksmith. Locksmith scams are pretty popular and it is a cause of tremendous heartache. Locksmith scams typically work in three stages. Firstly, they capture victim’s attention through newspaper or internet ads. Making a call to them leads you to the second stage; they send a fake locksmith to your location. The third stage is when the fake locksmith gives you a quote, delivers low-quality job and then ask for more money.
Locksmith scams are one of the most common frauds. This is due to the necessity of the service and the relative ease of the scam. In order not to allow yourself to be taken advantage of, below are five important tips that can help you avoid locksmith scams;
1. Have a locksmith in mind:
No one prays for emergencies, but the truth is that they do happen. One of the practical ways to avoid being scammed by fake locksmith is to prepare in advance. Before an emergency arrives, do a proper research for locksmiths in your area. The reason so many people fall victims of a fake locksmith is not that they are no legitimate ones around but a person in distress lacks the patience to conduct proper research.
Call some of the local locksmiths in your area and ask them a few questions. You could also pay visits to the listed address, to be assured it’s a legitimate business. If you are comfortable with your findings then you can save the locksmith’s number.
2. Beware of locksmiths that use paid ads:
Scammers spend a fortune to ensure their scams land them victims. This explains why they use paid ads so much. In order to avoid locksmith scam be wary of locksmiths that use paid ads. Scammers will do all they can to ensure their businesses appear among the top three in newspaper and internet ads.
3. Unusual low quotes:
Since they will do anything to appear top in ads, they will also adopt certain methods to catch attention. One of their classic methods is offering very low prices. This helps them easily catch victim’s attention. After the job is done they switch and jack the price up.
4. They avoid saying company’s name over the phone:
Typically, when you call a business, the receiver starts by stating his/her name and then the company’s name. Unscrupulous locksmiths tend to use several business names, address, and phone numbers that all lead to one call center. Since they do not know which business name led you to call, they avoid mentioning any company at all, instead, you get something like “Hello, locksmith”.
5. They show up in unmarked vehicles:
Another telling sign you may be dealing with a fake locksmith is when he arrives in an unmarked vehicle. A reputable locksmith company will provide its technicians with tools, uniform, and a marked vehicle. Such companies can be held responsible in the event something happens. Unscrupulous locksmith company will hire local contractors who are oftentimes not properly trained or equipped. They can cause serious damage to your doors, locks or windows.