While there are plenty of scams that opportunistic fake locksmiths can use to lure in unwitting customers, there is one that is more common than the others – and it’s very simple indeed. It all begins with an ad promising no callout fees, very low prices, all kinds of fancy enticing bells and whistles that you need from an Emergency Locksmith. They prey on the fact that if you’re locked out of your home you won’t have much time or ability to make an informed decision.
When they arrive, however, they take a cursory glance at your lock and shake their head: sadly, this type of lock can’t be opened non-destructively. They drill or hammer it, destroying it completely, then install a brand new lock (usually a very cheap one, and they usually install it badly) before charging you through the nose for the privilege. You’re left out of pocket and with seriously compromised home security, despite their initial assurances of speed and cost.
If you think you’ve fallen prey to this, it’s vital that you get in a different locksmith right away to repair the damage. Otherwise, you’re leaving your home security in serious risk – and that just isn’t worth it.
Tell-Tale Signs Of A Locksmith To Avoid
The vast majority of locksmiths are total professionals and lovely people who just want to help. Sadly, however, there are scams out there – and opportunistic scammers hoping to prey on people who are left in vulnerable positions. Here are some of the ways you can spot these hucksters.
Very low prices are almost always indicative of a scam. As with all things, if it seems too good to be true then it probably is – you won’t pay that prince in the end, or if you do it will be for incredibly shoddy and substandard work. Be wary of cheapness.
Unbranded vans are fine, but a van with the branding of a different locksmith is usually a warning sign – perhaps that they’re trying to reboot a failed venture, which doesn’t say much for their prowess as a professional. Keep an eye out for these.
If a locksmith arrives and then goes straight to drilling your lock without trying other methods first, ask them to leave immediately. Any good locksmith considers themselves to have failed if they have to resort to drilling a lock; the profession prides itself on the ability to enter almost anywhere non-destructively.
A total lack of accreditations is always indicative of a locksmith you should avoid at all costs, no matter how many positive reviews you can find online. They might have been bought, after all.