It’s never pleasant to be locked out of your car, home or business. It’s even more stressful when fraudulent locksmiths prey on your vulnerability.
To avoid being victimized, become familiar with a locksmith you can trust. Find a local locksmith, program their number into your mobile phone and bookmark their website address.
Here are a few common locksmith scams to look out for:
- A dishonest locksmith may quote you one price on the phone and then quote you another price after performing the service. To avoid becoming a victim, make sure the quote given is firm and in writing before the work begins.
- Another locksmith scam involves a quote over the phone or in person, but after the job is performed several additional fees can be added – everything from a “service fee” to a “travel fee” to a “check processing fee.” Make sure to ask if there will be any additional charges before the work begins.
- Beware of locksmith call centers. These scammers place ads in local phone directories using fake addresses and phone numbers that actually ring in another part of the country. You may think you’re calling a local Tampa number, but you’re actually calling another state. You want to deal locally whenever possible.
- Never trust a company that only takes cash. Whenever possible, use a credit card. Most major credit cards have built in fraud protection.
- Trust your gut. If the locksmith arrives and you’re not comfortable with them in any way, call another company. It’s better to wait another hour than to become a victim.