Locksmiths help customers when they lock themselves out of their cars, homes, and offices. Skilled locksmiths rarely have to replace a door’s lock. Instead, locksmiths rely on knowledge, experience, and the right tools to enter into locked buildings. Because locksmiths can get through locked doors, it’s important to only hire trustworthy locksmiths you can trust, who won’t try to charge you more money than the job is worth. Use these five tips to avoid common locksmith scams.
1. Hire Only Reputable Companies
Because of the sensitive nature of the job, it’s imperative that you only hire locksmiths from reputable companies. Check out online reviews and testimonials before hiring one. If you can, ask friends and family members whom they’d recommend. By only working with established and proven locksmiths, you’ll lower the chance of being taken advantage of.
2. Ask for Identification and Company Credentials
You want to make sure that the locksmith you hired is the person who shows up. A criminal might pose as a locksmith if he or she notices that you’re locked out of your car or home. Ask to see a company ID card to ensure that the person who shows up is the person that you hired. Any reputable locksmith will have no problem showing you his credentials before starting on your job.
3. Expect Locksmiths to Ask for Proof of Ownership
You can hire a locksmith to unlock what you own or rent. You can’t hire a locksmith to help you break into your ex-boyfriend’s apartment or your company’s office. Expect the locksmith to ask for proof that you live there before starting the job. This may be as simple as requesting to see the address on your driver’s license. If your locksmith doesn’t ask for proof, this may be a sign to watch out for.
4. Ask for Hidden Fees Upfront
One of the more common scams within the locksmith industry is to quote one price over the phone and then hike up the price while at the job site. These locksmiths recognize that you’re in a vulnerable place of need and might be willing to pay anything just to quickly get back into your home. During the initial phone call, ask for what hidden fees they charge outside of what they quoted and, if possible, get the quote in writing via an email or text message.
5. Pay with a Credit Card After the Job is Finished
With the popularity of remote card readers, many locksmiths accept credit cards for routine lockouts. If your locksmith insists that you pay him in cash, this might not be a good sign. Many locksmith scams involve asking a customer to pay cash upfront for the job. Then the locksmith may leave without unlocking the door or, worse, damage the lock because he or she doesn’t know how to unlock it. To avoid this, choose locksmiths that allow a wide range of payment options and only pay them once they’ve successfully completed the job.
At one time or another, you’ll need a locksmith to unlock a door. It’s important to hire only a locksmith you trust. Fortunately, most locksmiths are reputable. If you follow these tips, you’ll be sure to avoid any potential locksmith scams.