Fortunately for consumers the vast majority of locksmiths operate with honesty and integrity. There are however scam artists who can be difficult to avoid especially when someone finds themselves in need of a locksmith in an emergency. These scammers have been ripping off customers all over the United States and use a variety of different scams as well as tricks to fool persons in need. So how exactly does one go about avoiding locksmiths scams? There are several things that one can keep an eye out for and one should always ask for credentials before hiring a locksmith or agree to any terms of service.
Beware Of Aliases
Most of us know what “doing business as” means and we recognize that some companies may change their names or be purchased by larger companies who continue to allow them to operate under their original name. Persons needing a locksmith however should keep a keen eye out for any locksmith that utilizes an alias. Two of the largest perpetrators of locksmith scams in the United States are “Dependable Locksmith” and “Basad Inc.”. These two larger companies use aliases such as AAA Locksmith, 24 Hour Locksmith, and even A-1 Locksmith. Persons in need of a locksmith should always ask for credentials and some sort of identification. Moreover and whenever possible individuals should also utilize the Internet to check up on any locksmith they intend to call or hire. This is fairly simple given the fact that most people in need often have cell phones or mobile devices with them.
Intimidation And Overcharging
Even when the locksmith checks out online and seems legitimate, persons looking for a locksmith should remain sharp and keep an eye out for rising costs and intimidation tactics. These are always indicators of an impending scam or one that’s in progress. Locksmith scam artists often take advantage of those persons in emergency situations by offering ridiculously overpriced services and also increase the cost of their services exponentially after giving a much lower quote. Adamant and brave consumers who stand up to these tactics often find themselves victims of intimidation and threats. The threats range from the towing of a vehicle to the calling of the police. These threats are used to scare consumers, especially those in an emergency, to pay outrageous prices. Any person that find themselves in such a situation should remember that a locksmith has no right to commandeer their property and no grounds for contacting the police. Legitimate locksmiths will often offer a free quote either over the phone or in person and then allow you to either hire them or find someone else. Honest locksmiths will work for the price they originally quote and won’t drop hidden fees and threats after a job is then completed.
If You Suspect A Scam
If one suspects that they are the victim of a scam or about to become one there are two things they should do immediately. One, never give into intimidation and pay an illegitimate locksmith. Secondly call the police immediately. Either or both of these tactics is usually enough to discourage dishonest individuals from continuing their scam. One might also want to contact a different locksmith after immediately insisting a scam artist leave. By being skeptical and vigilant persons in need can avoid becoming victims of locksmiths scams and making an emergency situation even worse.