You never know when you may need professional locksmith services. For most people, it happens at the most inconvenient moment after most businesses have closed for the night or weekend.
Imagine pulling into your driveway and realizing that your house key isn’t on your key ring. You check all the doors, hoping that you had a forgetful morning and left something unlocked. Maybe you left that bedroom window cracked last night? What about the sliding door that you always use to let the dog out?
When these situations occur, most people find no way into their homes short of breaking a window or door. That’s when they turn to their phone, searching for emergency locksmith services. Doing so returns a mix of legitimate locksmiths and locksmith scams. Learning to recognize those scams can save you hundreds of dollars and possibly a later home break-in or identity theft case.
Most Common Locksmith Scams
- Bait and Switch Pricing – You see an ad online promising low prices only to have the locksmith ask for far more upon arrival or after completing the service.
- Replacement Locksmith Scams – The locksmith claims the only way to get into the property is to break the handle, requiring you to purchase a replacement handle at an unreasonable price. Alternatively, they may claim that something is already broken, and they need to replace it to fix the problem. In many cases, there is a way to enter without damaging property.
- Identity Theft and Crimes – The locksmith performs the services as expected but later steals personal or financial information to carry out identity theft crimes. They could also create a way to easily enter your property and return later to break in.
Tips to Avoid Locksmith Scams
While those locksmith scams are terrifying, there are ways to ensure you’re working with legitimate locksmith services.
Be Wary of Toll-Free Numbers
If you have to call a toll-free number, you’re probably not contacting a local locksmith. You’re either calling a large call center located anywhere in the world or someone who doesn’t want you to know their local number. In both cases, it’s most likely a scam.
Ask for IDs with Service Addresses and Names
Your locksmith may or may not wear a uniform or drive a company-branded vehicle, but they should have identification that shows the locksmith service’s business name and address. If they refuse to show ID or don’t have professional ID, you’re not dealing with an established locksmith who takes the business seriously.
Make Sure They Have a Physical Location
What is the exact street address for the locksmith service? If you can’t find one anywhere online, it’s likely a scam.
Do They Appear Inexperienced or Have a Lot of Excuses?
If the locksmith doesn’t seem to know how to perform the services efficiently or has excuses as to why they don’t have the proper tools, can’t figure out problems, or need to damage property to make it work, those are all red flags. Whether they’re truly inexperienced or operating a locksmith scam, you don’t want them to complete the service.
Are the Prices Too Good to Be True?
No legitimate locksmith can open your door or perform a rekey for $10 or $20, especially if it’s after hours or on a holiday. Locksmiths have expenses to keep their businesses profitable, so incredibly low prices are among the biggest signs of locksmith scams.
Cash Only Payment Options
If a locksmith states that they can only accept cash, you must assume there’s a reason they don’t want to run your credit or debit card. Your card gives you the opportunity to cancel payment or dispute charges, and locksmith scammers prefer to perform their crime and get away quickly with no strings attached. Even if you do approach them or make claims later, you have no proof of what you paid.
Hire a Trustworthy Locksmith
The best way to avoid locksmith scams is to call a reputable company with an established presence in your local community. If you’re in the Nashville, Cookeville, Paducah, or Clarksville/Hopkinsville areas, that means calling The Locksmith Co. We offer comprehensive mobile locksmith services, including rekeying, key replacement, and FOB key programming.
Our experienced, trustworthy Tennessee and Kentucky locksmiths can respond quickly to businesses, residential communities, and commercial districts. Call us today at 931-801-5427 in Clarksville or Cookeville, TN, 629-414-0445 in Nashville, TN, or 270-557-5819 in Paducah, KY.