Being locked out of your car or home is probably one of the most annoying and daunting things that could ever happen. It is stressful, inconvenient, and most dangerous. When people are stressed due to this situation, they usually do not pay as much attention as they normally would when searching for a service provider. It is causing an increase of locksmith scams on the market.
The number of scammers is increasing rapidly worldwide. According to recent reposts, the number of locksmith scammers in the US has increased by 26% over the past few years. Most scammers are known to target the auto and homeowners when they are in the most vulnerable condition, especially when in need of emergency assistance.
However, to avoid locksmith scams in Atlanta GA, and avoid hiring an unprofessional and unskilled locksmith or a scammer, you should always spend proper time carrying out in-depth research first. Here is a complete guide on how to spot and avoid a locksmith scam. Keep on reading to make the most of it.
How to Spot A Locksmith Scam?
It is not hard to spot a locksmith scam in Atlanta GA. Here are some key points that are usually consistent, and they can be red flags for you.
● Look for The Ad:
The locksmith scam usually starts with an ad on a nonexistent company. The price of the ad is very low, between $10 and $20. You can also find a fake picture of the shopfront, but if you do some research on Google, you might find it stolen from a legitimate company. Besides, the ad may also claim to be the cheapest and show low prices.
● A Vague Call:
One of the surefire signs of a locksmith scam is a vague call. When you call them, they do not answer with a business name. Instead, they will say service or locksmith. However, when the operator quotes you the price, they will tell you very low prices, such as “$15 and up”. No locksmith can survive in the business by charging such a low rate. Besides, the “and up” is what will be a sign of a scam. It is because up means hundreds of dollars more than the original quote.
● Slow Response Time:
It is another sign that can help you detect a scammer in Atlanta GA. If it takes the locksmith hours to get to you even when the website and maybe even the operator on the call promised 10 to 20 minutes, you should be suspicious at that time. There are high chances because they are not as close as they made you believe that they are.
● Vague Appearance:
When a bogus locksmith shows up, he will probably not be wearing a uniform or have an ID that would show he is employed as the locksmith. There are chances the vehicle will not be markers or have permanent markings for the business. It might have magnetic signage. Even it is rare for the scammers.
● Demand Cash or Debit:
Credit cards are easy to trace. That is why the fake locksmith will ask for cash, and if you do not have enough cash on the hand, they will demand taking a debit card. Besides, the bill will be big and much more than the quote they provided you.
● Make Excuses:
One of the signs that can help you spot locksmith scams is that a fake locksmith makes excuses. When they start repairing the lock, they will say that the lock is either high security or commercial lock, which cannot be picked. They will tell you that they have to drill the lock, and then it will destroy your lock. Then they will replace your old lock with a new low-quality and cheaper lock, but they will charge you through the nose for it. A legitimate and professional company will never do this and will provide you with reliable locksmith services in Atlanta GA.
Tips to Avoid Locksmith Scam
With some simple tips, you can avoid locksmith scams. Keep on reading to know more about this.
● Conduct Proper Research:
Research is the key to find out a legitimate reliable locksmith. One of the best places to find a locksmith is an online business directory listing sites such as Google My Business, HighFive Listings, Angie’s List, Manta, etc. These listing sites have listed the most reliable and experienced services providers. Besides, you can find the locksmith in your area via these listing sites. You can also find the reviews and ratings on the site, which will also make it easier for you to select the right service provider.
● Hire Local Locksmith:
The best way to avoid hiring a fake locksmith is to hire a local one. Local locksmiths are always trustworthy and reputed. He is the choice of most people in your area. Besides, the local locksmith will arrive within no time and provide you with top quality locksmith services in Atlanta.
● Verify the License:
Make sure to ask the locksmith for the license and the ID. Verify the license and make sure that it is authentic and legitimate. A reliable locksmith will always provide anything you ask for. They will never hesitate to prove their reliability. If the locksmith is unable to show you the license or ID, avoid hiring him.
● Request for an Estimate:
To avoid a scammer, you should request an estimate. If the charges are very low, it means he is a scammer. It is because the locksmith services are not low such as $10 to $20. Make sure to get an estimate before you hire the locksmith. Besides, you can ask the service provider for a written estimate. It will ensure reliability and professionalism.
● Beware of Extra Charges:
It is essential to ask for any extra charges associated with the locksmith services. There could be additional charges for things like emergency hours or lock replacement. However, most scammers have either fixed-price or do not tell you the price before arriving. They will tell you that the lock is obsolete and needs replacement. They will replace it with a cheap lock and will charge you higher. Besides, the bill they will give you at the end of the service will be high, and you will be overwhelmed with that. That is why it is essential to ask for extra charges ahead of time.
● Ask questions:
You should ask as many questions as you want. It is because you are going to pay the locksmith for the services, therefore, you can ask him anything you want. Besides, asking questions can help you spot a scammer, and you can avoid hiring him. You can ask him about their experience, etc.
What to Do If You Are A Victim?
If you have been or if you ever get scammed by a locksmith, take action against it. You have to report to the following if you are a victim of locksmith scams:
- Better Business Bureau
- Federal Trade Commission
- Internet Crime Complaint Center. It is offered by the FBI that handles fraud related to the internet.
- State’s Attorney General’s Office to make a complaint about fraud or business.
- Bank or credit card provider