Imagine this scenario: You are pumping gas at the petrol station when you realize that you have locked your keys in your car. Thankfully, you have your phone on you.You do a little research on the web before you pull up the number of a locksmith. You call and are given a low quote of $40. When the so-called locksmith arrives, your keys are held hostage until you pay upwards of $300 dollars. Unfortunately, you have been pulled into a fake locksmith scheme.
Each year, hundreds of people fall prey to fake locksmiths. Real auto locksmiths want to help you when you find yourself in an emergency situation. Avoiding locksmith fraud may be more difficult than you think, but the truth is that legitimate locksmiths are looking out for you. You can spot a fake locksmith by looking for any of these traits.
1. You are being quoted hundreds of dollars more than the original quote you were given, and you may not have been told the price of the service until after you signed an invoice.
2. The price quoted at the beginning of the interaction is ridiculously low. You can expect it to rise if the quote does not match up with other quotes you have received.
3. The phony locksmith requests a credit card at the beginning of the interaction rather than after the lock is fixed or your keys are retrieved.
4. The locksmith damaged your property in the process of restoring your lock or unlocking your door. Even a simple job may have been botched, possibly in an effort to get you to spend more of your hard-earned cash.
5. You ask to see the locksmith's license, but they fail to present it. This is especially frightening, as it indicates that your locksmith may not have undergone the mandatory background checks locksmiths are often required to undergo, preventing criminals from having access to your personal spaces.
6. The locksmith immediately starts drilling out the locks if you call them to your home. In most cases, the locksmith does not need to do this in order to get you back inside.
7. Read reviews online, and make sure that they are not bogus. If others report having issues with a listed locksmith, do your best to avoid them.
8. Look for signs of accreditation from professional locksmith organizations on the locksmith's website. You can also ask for this information on the phone.
9. You are not given a paper estimate of the work before the locksmith begins, even though you have asked for it.
10. The locksmith arrives in an unmarked vehicle. Most professional services will have a marked van and a license number listed on it.
Most locksmiths that you will call, like those at Autolock Solutions, are totally legitimate, but there are a select few that you should be concerned with. A legitimate locksmith will never be offended if you ask questions or show concern for potential scams.