Getting locked out of your car or house can leave you in a vulnerable state. It’s like one of the worst nightmares for people especially if it’s the middle of the night and they don’t know what to do. The best solution here is to call a locksmith nearby and get the door unlocked but it’s not as simple as it sounds. You probably already know that there are locksmith scammers out there who are waiting to prey on people and their money. Especially if it’s your first time calling for help, you need to be very careful about who you choose.
If you search it online, you’ll get hundreds of websites and contact numbers of the locksmiths around you but again, not all of them provide professional services and not all of them can be trusted completely. However, there are some particular signs that you need to look out for in order to protect yourself from a locksmith scam.
1-Quoting An Unreasonably Low Price
It’s a little counterintuitive but if someone is offering his services to you at an unreasonably low price, you need to take it as a red flag. What happens here is that these people start with a low quote just so that you hire them and then when they reach your place for help, they hit you with unexpected added costs. This is why you should first always ask about the estimated cost and then check if it’s reasonable enough for the job that they are doing.
2-Negative Online Reviews
It’s always recommended that you check the reviews of a locksmith online before hiring. Online reviews are a clear-cut answer to whether you should hire a particular person or not. If there are any negative reviews, consider them seriously and start looking for someone else right away. Especially if the reviews state something about the locksmith being a “scam”, do not hire!
3-No License Or Certification
We are talking about professional service providers here which means that the person you hire must be certified and he must have a license to perform his locksmith duties. There are certain states where a locksmith cannot operate without a license like California, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas. So if you are in any of these states, make sure to hire a certified locksmith.
4-No Solid Online Presence
A professional locksmith who has been providing his services for years will always have a solid online presence where their address, contact details, and even their per hour charges are mentioned. You need to search the internet first, check if the person you are hiring has any kind of online presence with all this information. If yes, he’s the right person to hire but if not, it’s better to look for someone else to protect yourself from any scam artist.
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5-Offering Unnecessary Services
Some scam locksmiths will try and push you to take more of their services. For example, if your key is broken and can be fixed right on spot with the right tools, a scammer will suggest that you completely replace the lock or that the problem is bigger than expected. This is their way of charging you more money. So be careful, ensure that the person you are hiring is trained and has the right tools to access your lock on spot.
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