Post On May 21, 2019
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.
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.
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 locksmith 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.
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 locksmiths 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.
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”.
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.
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.
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 more calm and rational.
Read more on “How to find the best locksmith near me dallas”.
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.
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.
Do not hesitate to call SOS Locksmith Dallas, TX if needing for a Locksmith Near You
2302B Myrtle Springs Ave Dallas, TX 75220
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SOS Locksmith is on call 24/7 with our emergency Locksmith technicians ready to assist you with all your Locksmith needs !