How to Avoid a Locksmith Scam
Did you know that there are hundreds of locksmith scams occurring around the country? Don’t let yourself be preyed upon during a stressful time. Keep reading to educate yourself on how these scams work, how to spot a scam, and ultimately, what you can do to protect yourself from a locksmith scam.
How the Scams Work
Essentially, businesses known as lead generators create many listings for locksmith businesses around the country, that don’t actually exist. They put up pictures, build authentic looking websites, and then submit them to Google’s business listings. Then they use fake Google accounts to flood the business with many positive reviews to give the fake company some credibility. Then, when you lock yourself out of your home, car, or office, you will Google a local locksmith and might stumble upon a company that seems authentic and reputable. When you call the number, you will be transmitted to the call center and be quoted a low estimate, and told that a local locksmith will be there shortly. When this “locksmith” arrives, they will either drill the lock, which results in a costly repair for you, or say that the work is more complicated then they originally thought, and charge upwards of 5 to 10 times what you were originally quoted. Many people, already flustered by being locked out and having to wait for someone to arrive will simply give in and pay the exorbitant bill.
Spotting a Scam
Luckily, there are some telltale signs that you are being scammed by a fake locksmith company. Here are some of the signs that you are not dealing with a legitimate, reputable locksmith company like RBM Lock & Key.
- When you make the original call, you will speak with a dispatcher who answers with a generic phrase such as “locksmith” or “service center,” and will not mention the name of the company that you supposedly called. To be sure, you can ask for the name of the company you called – they obviously should be able to tell you!
- When you ask for a quote, they will quote you a low number and say “and up.” The “and up” part is the term you want to listen for. The low price catches your attention, but in reality, this “low cost” locksmith will end up costing you hundreds.
- The locksmith that shows up does not wear an Identification tag or uniform. Any reputable locksmith from a legitimate company will have either have an identification tag, a uniform, or arrive in a marked company vehicle.
- If you are told that your locks are “commercial” or “high security” locks and need to be drilled, consider asking more questions. Often they will drill the lock, which destroys it, and then replace it with a cheap set and charge a large fee. A real professional should be able to pick a lock without damaging it. That is how you sort the pros from the Joes.
- If you are pushed to pay for the service in cash or by debit, then you might be dealing with a scammer. Scammers do not want things to be done with credit cards because they can easily be traced.
How to Protect Yourself from a Locksmith Scam
The best way to protect yourself from a locksmith scam, is to have a reputable locksmith company programmed into your phone in case of an emergency. If you are prepared for the emergency before it occurs, you can ensure that you are not being preyed on in a time of need or frustration. We at RBM Lock & Key would love to have you stop into our Ontario, California store or call our knowledgeable staff at 909-980-3448 to discuss the services that we offer. We have over 49 years in the industry and have built a reputation that backs our superior service. Don’t get taken advantage of by undeserving scammers, call RBM Lock & Key and get the quality, professional locksmith service that you deserve.