Warning! There’s been an increase scams lately. Many of them are internet scams, but there’s also been an increase in locksmith scams. To help, your local commercial locksmith (that’s us!) has decided to share some of the best ways to prevent being taken advantage of.
Tips from a Commercial Locksmith: 12 Ways to Protect Yourself from Locksmith Scams
Utilizing these 12 tips will help you protect your property and your pocketbook from scammers.
1. Do Your Research
Before you call a locksmith, do some research to see if they’re reputable. Check their address to make sure it’s an actual place and that a locksmith company does, in fact, operate there.
2. Be Observant
“Technicians” who work for a proper locksmith company will arrive to your property with a commercial van. Those who work for a scam company will often arrive in an unmarked vehicle.
3. If They Demand Money Up Front, Tell Them to Leave
An honest-to-goodness commercial locksmith will charge you for services rendered. A scam artist will demand the money up front. If you’re told you have to pay up front, tell the “technician” to hit the road.
4. Do Your Research – Part II
Take some time to research the reviews on Yelp, Google, and other review websites. When you do this, compare the address and phone number of the company you’re researching with the companies in the reviews.
5. Don’t Trust Someone Who Quotes You One Price over the Phone but Demands Another
Scam artists will quote a perfectly reasonable fee over the phone. Once they get to the property, they demand a higher fee for other services or because the service is going to be more difficult than expected.
One woman who dealt with a scam artist was quoted $40 to unlock her door. When he arrived, he told her he’d have to break the door down. Or, he could save the door by using a special tool, but that would cost an additional $60. When he finished, he told the woman she owed him $250 because of other fees and labor costs.
This is not how the locksmith business works. A real “technician” does not quote three different fees.
6. Listen Closely to How They Answer the Phone
If the person on the other end of the phone uses a generic term like “call center,” “service center,” or “locksmith,” you might want to call another number. A real locksmith company will answer their phone using the company name. Scam numbers are re-routed to an out of the area call center.
7. Ask if They Accept Credit Cards
Scammers typically don’t like to deal with credit cards because they can be easily traced. They’ll ask for cash or debit cards instead.
8. The “Technician” Shows Up Without a Uniform or Identification
Like their vehicle, a reputable locksmith will arrive in clothes that identify them. They generally have a uniform with the company name and logo. At the very least, they will present some identification, like a state license number.
9. Find a Locksmith Before You Actually Need One
One of the worst things you can do is wait until you’re in a bind to contact a locksmith. Do your homework ahead of time. Then you know you’re working with a legitimate company.
10. Be Leary of a Locksmith Who Tells You That You Have Special Locks
Some scammers tell customers they have special locks that need to be drilled off. Once the locks are off, they’re replaced with cheaper replicas. The price the customer has to pay, however, is anything but cheap.
11. Get a Written Estimate
Get a written estimate before any work is done. This will help you see what they’re charging you for and protect you legally.
12. If At All Possible, Don’t Meet the Locksmith Alone
Scammers tend to get what they want through intimidation. You’ll be less likely to be a victim if you have someone backing you up.
Protect Yourself by Choosing a Trustworthy Local Commercial Locksmith
Are you looking for a trustworthy commercial locksmith? Then you’ve come to the right place. Whether you need a lock repair, lock change, or keyless entry locks – we can provide it.
We’re committed to providing our customers with the best service around. And our reputation proves that we’re a company you can trust.
The next time you need a commercial locksmith, make sure you call us.
Would you like to learn more about how to protect yourself? Fill out our contact form and we’ll be in touch to give you more helpful tips.