When you require a locksmith for your home or business, you need to hire someone that you can trust. Unfortunately, scammers have targeted this industry to take advantage of people who are in a bind. Learn more about how these scams work and what to look out for. Once you understand the scams, it’s easy to avoid them and hire someone who will do good work at a fair price.
A Guide to Locksmith Scams
How the Scam Works
Scammers create a fake online presence for a business, giving it a website and a fake business listing. They may even make it look legitimate with social media pages and positive reviews. When someone needs a commercial or residential locksmith, they find the fake online listing and call the phone number. They are then routed to a call center — often out of the country — which quotes a very low price.
The scammers then send out a “professional,” often with no training. They will claim the job is more complicated than the one quoted and ask for a much higher price, often in cash. They may even drill through the lock and destroy it in the process.
How to Spot a Scam
If you’re dealing with scammers, when you call the phone number, you won’t talk directly to a locksmith. You’ll talk with a dispatcher, who may sound like they don’t know your local area well. When they quote you for the job, the price will seem unusually low, and they may use terms such as “upwards of” or “and up.” The person they send may also take much longer than expected because they are further than the fake listing makes them seem.
The person who arrives may have an unmarked vehicle or one with magnetic signs that can be switched out. It may even have out-of-state plates. They may not wear a uniform or show you ID when they arrive, and they will likely demand you pay cash. If you see any of these warning signs, find a legitimate locksmith instead.
Tips for Hiring Local
You can avoid being scammed by finding a company before you actually need one. You’ll have time to do some research and know what to expect. Ask friends and family for recommendations. Check that the online listing has a legitimate address in your community, and when you call, ask to confirm that address. They should be happy to provide you with the full legal name of the business and its licensing information. They may also bring a written copy of your estimate to the job.
For a trusted local locksmith in Morris, Sussex, and Warren counties, NJ, call Able Security Locksmiths. The company has been a part of the community for more than 25 years, providing a full range of services from auto lockouts to home lock upgrades. They are also available around the clock for immediate emergency assistance. Learn more on their website and call (973) 584-3033 for an estimate.