How to identify a scammer vs. the real deal without your pocketbook.
As a professional and trusted locksmith, we believe it’s important to help our community in every way that we can. Part of helping our community is by communicating. There are dangers in the “locksmithing” world that should be avoided. There are countless scammers in the US waiting for an opportunity to make a quick buck. The problem with this is that the people who assist with your locksmithing needs, if they aren’t licensed and certified, then they don’t have proper training. It also means that your property is not protected under any kind of law. It’s crucial that you know how to tell the difference between a professional locksmith, and scammer.
What to look for:
- Do research. With modern day technology it’s easy to gather information quickly. Read online reviews, check for reports and referrals.
- When you call, ask for a quote. If they can’t give you an exact price, in most cases they are not legit.
- Check for affiliations. Find out if they are registered with ALOA (Associated Locksmiths of America. This is recommended.
- Check their certification. A real locksmith will proudly give this information. If they get defensive, or question your motive, you should be questioning theirs.
- Pay attention to the small details. Did they arrive in a company vehicle? This is more important than you would think. If they took the time, and paid the money for printed vehicles, they are likely licensed. Is the locksmith in uniform? They should be.
How does the scamming work?
In many cases, the locksmith scams participate in a mass industry, usually operated from another country. When you search google for a local locksmith, several numbers and websites will pop up. You might notice good reviews, but be aware that reviews are not always legit. These scammers will pay people to create fake reviews. When you call, it will forward to a dispatcher, and they’ll say something along the lines of “Locksmith” or “Service”, but will leave out the name of the business you are trying to reach. When you ask for a quote, they will reply with a low price and make sure it’s open for change. They trap people with the low price, but when they show up to do the job, they will do it and up the price based on “the difficulty of the job.” These kinds of scams are becoming more popular and are circulating all over the internet. It’s important to be aware. Utilizing false locksmithing services will breed disaster.
Why isn’t Google doing anything about the problem?
Out of frustration, it’s easy to point the finger. Google is trying to counteract the problem, and they have many security measures actively working in order to tear at the roots of the issue. It’s more complex than it seems. It’s best to be educated, and aware of the possibilities so that you don’t fall victim to the scamming while it’s still happening.
In a locksmith emergency, give us a call.