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You are probably thinking “Who would want to pretend to be a Locksmith?” right?
There are lots of people that are advertising themselves as locksmiths when in fact they have no training and no interest in helping you at all. There only goal is to take advantage of you and take your money.
You often call a locksmith when you are upset or desperate. It is just the nature of the trade. No one calls a locksmith when their lock is working fine or when they aren’t locked out in the rain, do they?
If you feel uneasy, tell them to leave and call someone else.
When you’re locked out of your house or you’ve been broken into, is a perfect opportunity for them to jump in and make some money. Customers will often call a locksmith and have no idea that they are actually speaking to someone at a call center in a different country instead of the friendly face at their local locksmith shop. The person on the phone will give you a crazy low price to come out and open your locked door for example. No reputable locksmith is going to come and unlock your door for $15. The cost to pay a professional locksmith to get in a vehicle is much higher than that. Once the “locksmith” arrives, they will start telling you how difficult your lock is or that it is a special type of lock and tell you that it is going to cost much more money to open the door, even though they haven’t even tried yet. Usually hundreds of dollars more! At this point, the customer is either desperate to get in or feels intimidated so they agree.
That can’t be legal, can it?
To make it even harder to detect the scammers, they will often advertise with a name that is VERY close to reputable locksmith. The change is so slight that you won’t even notice. Most times they will just change 1 or 2 letters in the name. You don’t know who you are calling. If you look at their addresses, they are often vacant lots or fast food restaurants. Locksmiths do not work out of the local McDonalds downtown!
How big is this problem?
It is a scam that has been going on for years and keeps getting worse as time goes on. It has been reported right across North America. There have been countless stories on the news about the scam but it continues to grow day by day. BBB’s across the country have issued warnings and the scam makes their biggest fraud lists all the time. It is a massive problem for locksmith shops who take pride in their work and value their customers. There is no end in sight!
How do I make sure I am dealing with a real locksmith?
The easiest way is to build a relationship with a local locksmith shop. Program their number in your phone so you always know who you are calling.
Check their address to make sure they are who they say they are and not the Dairy Queen down the road.
Ask your friends and family for their recommendations.
Todays high tech world has given them more opportunities to take advantage of unsuspecting customers but that same technology also gives us all the same tools to catch them in the act!