No one likes a scam artist, and it’s unfortunately true that the locksmith industry has its share of scams. If you’re searching online for a locksmith in an emergency lockout situation, you’re at an even greater risk of falling victim to these fraudulent locksmiths. Here’s how they tend to operate, plus six tips for firing a good locksmith the next time you need one.
How to Spot a Locksmith Scam
If you search online for local locksmiths, you’ll likely find a surprising number of businesses. Be wary, as many of these are fraudulent listings, and anyone who actually comes out on a call is neither licensed nor certified. Emergency locksmith scams often involve upcharging – with very low prices quoted over the phone – and unnecessary shortcuts.
Six Tips for Avoiding Locksmith Scams
- You can learn a lot from the very first phone call. Your call should be answered with someone who uses the company’s name. If you’ve been routed to a call center, proceed with caution.
- Ask for an estimate on the phone, and inquire about additional charges for factors like mileage driven, service call minimums or after-hours service.
- When the locksmith arrives, take note of the vehicle. A legitimate locksmith usually drives a vehicle that’s clearly marked.
- Ask for identification and credentials. Here in Reno and Sparks, AllSafe Lock & Key maintains three separate locksmith licenses as well as a registration with the Sheriff’s Department of Washoe County.
- Before work begins, confirm the estimate you received over the telephone.
- Listen carefully to the locksmith’s suggestions. If you’ve been locked out, replacing or drilling out the lock shouldn’t be the first recommendation. Experienced locksmiths should have the right tools and knowledge to open your door.
The Best Solution
The best way to protect yourself against locksmith scams is with a bit of early homework. Before you find yourself in an emergency scenario that requires a locksmith’s services, spend some time reading online reviews and comparing websites. Here at AllSafe Lock & Key in Reno and Sparks, we’re happy to explain our services and our fees. We want you to be very clear on what you can expect from our technicians, and we welcome your questions.