There are so many reasons that you may need to contact a locksmith. They’re our saving grace when we’re unexpectedly locked out of our homes, cars, or safes. But before you go out and trust the first address that appears on the Google page you’ve got to go through a checklist to make sure you’re dealing with a real locksmith.
Here are just a few steps to take and signs to look for so you can be sure you’re getting professional services that won’t come back to haunt you.
Beware The Fake Locksmith Scam
The “locksmith scam” is an operation taken by a few people posing to be real locksmiths with real businesses that prey on people when they’re at their most vulnerable – when they’re locked out. The fake locksmiths use advertising and marketing tactics to promote their fake businesses and phone numbers on Google to trick unsuspecting people that they’re real locksmiths.
These fake locksmiths don’t know how to pick locks so they only drill into the lock and ruin it. Additionally, they grossly over-charge customers for this service so that the customer is left with a broken lock and with a vastly bigger bill then they would’ve had with a real locksmith.
Ask These Questions To Make Sure You’re Dealing With A Real Locksmith
Keeping an eye out for scammers when you’re calling locksmiths all starts with knowing what questions to ask.
Ask to see their ID and if they are insured because real locksmiths will be insured in case they incur any damage while unlocking or doing repairs at your property. And finally, ask a lot of technical questions about the work that they will perform at your property. A real locksmith will be able to answer all of these in detail and if they can’t then they’re scammers.
Have An Idea Of Who’s A Legitimate Locksmith In The Area
When you’re locked out of your home or vehicle you’re usually feeling desperate and under a time crunch and are frantically looking around for a locksmith to help you out. It can be tempting to call the first locksmith service that pops up on Google maps but beware because the first few listings might not be legitimate or actually local to you.
To be sure you’re getting the help of a real locksmith, try and research local locksmiths before you have a problem. Look around and see what businesses are in your community, read reviews online, and pop in the stores to check them out yourself.
Get A Second Quote And Compare
A mark of a scammer is suspiciously low prices. Most locksmiths will give you an estimate of around $70-$90 per hour on site because they’re accounting for overhead and time to do the job. Many locksmiths also charge higher rates for emergency and after hours service as they need to bump scheduled customers and/or pay staff for overtime. However, fake locksmiths will give you a dirt-cheap estimate of $15-$40 to get you interested and then overcharge you once they inevitably break your lock.
Keep an eye out for scammers by calling a bunch of different local businesses and getting estimates from them as well. Compare and contrast and remember, cheaper isn’t always better. Watch this CBC Marketplace hidden camera investigation about common locksmith rip-offs: https://youtu.be/bvlzZnhZhrc
Locksmith scammers are out there and it pays to be aware of how they operate. Luckily, the friendly and professional folks over at Aim Lock & Safe are trusted and experienced locksmiths that can help answer any questions or concerns you may have.