What to do if you have locked yourself in the car? Be sure you do not fall victim to a locksmith fraud as well! You should not panic and call the first business advertising itself as a locksmith – get in touch with your roadside assistance service first! They’ll have a listing of pre-approved firms – locksmiths included. If you don’t have a roadside assistance service at your disposal, call your family and friends for recommendations!
To protect yourself from falling for scam when picking a locksmith service from a telephone book – or from the internet – you will have to be very careful. A few “local” companies are not local at all! These scam artists comes in an unmarked vehicle, do a poor job, and overcharge you.
Once you get in touch with a locksmith’s number, question him for the name of his company. A legit locksmith will not have problems with providing you with his name, and the legal name of his business.
Many emergency locksmiths will come to your area in a obviously marked company vehicle. The logo and business name should be professionally painted on the side. If not, you’ll need to be more cautious.
Keep in mind not all states require locksmiths to be licensed. The following states require a license for locksmiths: Alabama, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, Nevada, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. When your state calls for locksmiths to be licensed, then by all means – ask him to see his locksmith license.
Should a locksmith finds that a lock is damaged but wants to change it out with a less secure lock, you should not accept the replacement lock. It isn’t unusual for bogus locksmiths to damage a lock and then insist a replacement is necessary when an easy fix might have kept the old lock in place.
Before any work begins, ask for a quotation (over the telephone). Are there extra charges you must pay, for instance for an emergency service? Always ask: “What’s the total cost going to be when the job is done?”. Ask for a written estimation. Should the estimate he provides you with when he arrives doesn’t match up the one he gave you over the phone, find another locksmith!
Con locksmiths typically advertise with inexpensive prices. They can disassemble the lock then come up with hidden charges to complete the job. The customer is now compelled to pay up or leave their property or business without a working lock. You must know the standard rate for these services so that you’ll know if the quote is quite a bit low or too high.