Watch Out For Locksmith Scams

Locksmith Scam

At a point in time,
you may have to use the services of a locksmith, whether it is to change a lock
on a new rental so you can have the only keys or you may need their services to
help you get into your house when you lose your keys or get locked out,
whatever it may be, the services of a locksmith can be very handy sometimes.
When hiring a locksmith, it is quite necessary to exercise caution as after all
you are going to be trusting someone with the security of your home and you
have to take the necessary measures to ensure that you work with someone who
will not end up compromising your safety or overcharging you.

Most of the time,
when you need the services of a locksmith, you are in a tight spot where you
may have been locked out of your car or house and desperate to have the issue
resolved. This has lead to some less than upright individuals who may or may
not be locksmiths, but use this opportunity to hike the prices of their
services because they know the client is willing to do whatever it takes to
gain access to their home or vehicle. So, how do you spot a locksmith scam when
you see one? How can you ensure that you do not fall prey to these nefarious
people? If you know their mode of operation and can tell when an assumed
locksmith is not being straightforward, you will be able to avoid becoming one
of their victims. We care about your safety and the shady activities of these
people tarnish the image of hardworking and legitimate locksmiths who do their
best to serve clients well. This is why we have put together some tips on how
to spot a locksmith scam and red flags to look out for when you need a
locksmith so you do not get exploited.

Also, you can read more in our article on Residential Locksmiths in Dallas.

They usually post
very low prices

These fake locksmiths
usually attract their victims by pricing their services much lower than those
of the average legitimate locksmith. When you request for a price estimate as
you usually would from a locksmith after stating your problem, they will hardly
give a straight answer and hedge around calling a fixed price so that they can
have room to overcharge you when they get there. They carry out research to get
the estimate of prices for locksmiths and then go on to build websites with the
help of lead generators and even use non-existent addresses as their
storefronts to make them look like they have a physical store. To make them even
more appealing to their unsuspecting victims, they have the lead generations
write fake reviews so you will believe that they are reputable locksmiths who
can actually save you from your lock emergency. After successfully convincing a
person to call one of their “locksmiths” their agent shows up at your location
and proceeds to drill a hole in your lock. This drilling will be done the wrong
way and thus create an even bigger problem than what you had in the first
place. They may also charge extra by using terms you do not understand like
saying they need to change your lock and pins so they will then charge you much
more than the original cost which was low to

“fix” the bigger
problem. Because you are desperate to get into your home or vehicle, you may be
willing to pay any price and they would have successfully pulled off their
scam.

They will usually
have no means of Identification

Because these
businesses are not legitimate, and to avoid being easily traced, most of the
people who carry out locksmith scams do not come with any form of
identification. Usually, a reputable locksmith van will have their company logo
on it as well as their contact information and address. However, these fake
locksmiths will often show up in an unmarked van or vehicle that will make it
easy for them to disappear after you realize they did a botched job. Their
uniforms and overalls will also have no badge of identification and they will
not have any means of personal ID on them either. If you notice that the
locksmith you have called has signs that look semi-permanent on its van, or
it’s an unmarked vehicle with an out of state license plate number then it is
possible that they are locksmith scammers. A licensed locksmith will also ask
to see your own form of identification and proof of ownership of the property
before they begin to work on the locks to ensure you really own the property.
So if a locksmith is not concerned with identifying you or themselves then they
are not to be trusted.

You will only speak
with a dispatcher when you make contact

Most of the time with
fake locksmiths, when you call to book an appointment or request a locksmith,
you will be connected to speak with a dispatcher who is actually the lead
generator who will then call up their partner, the fake locksmith. Most of the
time they will never mention the locksmith’s business name and will refer to
them in generic terms like” locksmith” or” locksmith services.” This is because
they operate under many different aliases and they cannot risk calling the name
of the wrong “business” while trying to book a client. If you notice any of
this trends while you are in the process of getting a locksmith, do not go
ahead to book the service, hang up the call and call a different locksmith and
this time ensure you get a business name that corresponds with what you saw
online.

It will take a long
time for the locksmith to get to you

Because they do not
handle the phone lines themselves and they usually come from out of state or
far away locations to make it more difficult for them to be traced, it will
take up to several hours for the fake locksmith to show up after you have
placed a call requesting their services. After calling to request a locksmith,
you may be told it will only take a few minutes for the locksmith to arrive at
your location when in reality it could take up to 2 hours or more before they
arrive because although their websites say 
they are in your area, they may really be coming in from somewhere much
further away.

We also have an
article on “How to find the best locksmith near you Dallas”

They will insist on
cash

Because using your
credit to make a payment will make it easy for them to be traced, a fake
locksmith will always insist on being paid in cash. No matter how large your
bill comes up to after they have successfully damaged it and requested for more
money, even if your bill runs into hundreds of dollars, fake locksmiths will
prefer to be paid in cash only. They may even suggest you go to an ATM to get
the money to pay them and if you insist on using a card to process your payment
they may be open to accepting a debit card and in the event that they accept
credit cards, they may end up overcharging you and you will not notice until you
get your credit card bill. If a locksmith keeps insisting on a cash payment
then you may have just been scammed.

They will give bogus
reasons for charging you high

Most people do not
know the different kinds of locks out there and how to work or repair them so
these fake locksmiths tend to take advantage of this to run their scams. If it
is a lock on the door of a home, they will tell you something like your lock is
a high-security lock, an overseas lock, or a difficult lock which is why they
cannot be picked and must be drilled instead. Picking locks without damaging
them is one of the hallmarks of a real locksmith because they have taken time
and invested in learning how to pick almost every lock, they also possess the
right tools of the trade. But because they do not know how to, and it would
serve them well to drill, scam locksmiths will often insist on drilling your
locks instead and end up damaging them. He will then charge you a much higher
price to install new locks after damaging the old ones. If you are locked out
of your car, the locksmith will claim your lock is hard to pick because the car
is either too old or too new and because of the level of difficulty, they will
end up charging you much higher to pick your locks.

How to avoid getting
scammed

If you need a
locksmith to help you pick a lock or change it, you can follow the following
measures to ensure you do not get swindled out of your hard-earned money.

    •   
Only hire locksmiths from sites which have some sort of accreditation
and ensure that the locksmiths are licensed professionals. You can request to
see their license as well. Ensure they have an address and request for the
address to be confirmed to you after you speak to them. Also, ensure that the
business name is clearly stated so you can double check when the van arrives at
your location. If you are still uneasy then you should cancel the appointment
immediately.

    •   
After describing what you want from the locksmith ensure you get an
estimated cost for the service. Do not fall for ridiculously low prices as this
is how they rope you in. When the technician shows up, have him look at the
locks and again give you a price estimate before he begins to work so he does
not tack on more prices as he goes along.

    •   
Ensure you check their identification, make sure the face matches that
of the technician in front of you. Also, take down their license plate numbers
so you can trace the vehicle if there is a problem with your locks after they
are done fixing them.

    •   
Do not agree to pay the technician until you are completely satisfied
with their work and the amount they request; some scam locksmiths will try to
strong arm you into paying by issuing threats or bullying. Stand your ground
until you can both come to an agreement that works for you.

    •   
Have a go-to locksmith you always use which you can locate through
recommendations from friends and family or a locksmith you researched and found
on your own before the day you need them. When there is no pressure to
immediately get access to the place you’ve been locked out of, you will be able
to spot any suspicious behavior because you are calmer and more rational.

Read more on “How to find the best locksmith near me Dallas”

What to do if you are
scammed

You will probably
never be able to locate these scammers after they have escaped with your money
and if you call the dispatcher, you may be fed lies which you have no way of
verifying so it’s best to take all the necessary precautions. These scammers
can also be criminals and robbers who will successfully then gain access to
your home, cars, valuables or credit card information if they make copies of
the keys to your locks.

You can also read
more here on how to find
“the best Locksmith in Dallas”.

If you notice you
have become entangled with a scammer, you can do one or more of the following
things

    •   
Take note of their appearance and any distinguishing features about the
technician and vehicle so that they can be traced.

    •   
Try to remember and put down as much information as you can about the
encounter to help the law enforcement agencies track and arrest the locksmith
scammers.

    •   
If they are still on your property, move away from them and discreetly
place a call to the police so they can apprehend the fraudsters.

Conclusion

These crooked
locksmiths have various methods of scams they use, but they all involve
damaging your lock before listing high prices to fix and replace them. They
make real locksmiths have a bad reputation and cause clients to avoid honest
businesses who are trying to help people get back into their locked properties
as they earn a decent living. This is why it is important for you and everyone
you know to stay on the lookout for the warning signs of shady locksmith
companies and report any that seem to be suspicious to the federal trade
commission. You can also call them out on social media platforms so that other
people are aware of their existence and do not fall prey to their scams.

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