How to Avoid a Locksmith Scam in an Emergency
It’s 5 o’clock and you’re rushing out of work. You have to pick up the kids, feed them, and have them at soccer practice by 6:00 pm. You rush out to your car and start digging around for your keys when the horror sets in and you see them sitting on the passenger seat of your locked car. Yikes!
The next step seems obvious—call a locksmith, and fast! However, in your panicked state, you are more prone to fall victim to a locksmith scam. Here are five ways to keep yourself from falling victim to a locksmith scam:
- Look for a legitimate local company
- Avoid companies that answer the phone with a generic phrase instead of a company name
- Ask for an ID and proof of a locksmith license
- Get a written estimate on company letterhead and a receipt afterward
- Do not let anyone drill or replace your lock
First things first when you’re doing a quick Google search. Look for a company that is local and has a physical address listed in your area. If you remember hearing any radio ads or seeing any billboards and recognize one of those companies in your search, chances are they are a legitimate company.
One of the biggest locksmith scams is a phone number that connects you to a central facility—which could even be located in a different state!—that takes your information and then connects you with a local scammer. If someone answers the phone by saying something like “This is Kim. Are you in need of a locksmith?” or another generic statement that doesn’t mention an actual company name, you might be dealing with a scammer and should try another number.
When your locksmith arrives, be sure to ask to their business ID and locksmith license. In California, locksmiths need to be licensed so they should be able to present both those items to you. Someone in a uniform or driving a company truck is another sign that you are dealing with someone legitimate.
Before any work is done, ask for a written estimate. The estimate should specify what work is required and include any “emergency” service fees. After the work is completed, you should also get a receipt so there is proof if you need to dispute anything.
When you call a locksmith, if they mention needing to drill or replace your lock, send them packing. Any experienced, legitimate locksmith should be able to pick a lock and will not need to drill through or destroy the lock, thus costing you even more money.
Trust Curley’s Key Shop with Your Locksmith Needs in Pomona, CA.
The best way to protect yourself from a locksmith scam is to have a reputable local locksmith on speed dial before you need them. Take time to do the research now, and then you won’t have to worry about falling victim to a scam in an emergency situation. Do future you a favor and program (909) 622-6716 into your phone right now. You can also trust Curley’s Key Shop with your emergency locksmith needs in Pomona, CA!