There has been a rising trend in locksmith scams recent years. Not only by locksmiths in London but also in the United States and the entire UK scammers are taking advantage of individuals in desperate situations to make any easy buck. If you do not want to fall victim to such scamming techniques, or want to know if you may have been scammed, then keep reading.
Locksmith scams can occur in a number of ways. For example, a locksmith scam was recently discovered and reported by the press in England, where burglars posing as locksmiths pretended to hand out marketing material. What they were really doing was checking out places to burgle. If a place looked easy to break into, they would plant a nearly invisible sticker on the house, saying, “24-hour locksmith.” This would be a sign to other burglars that the house could be easily broken into.
Another concerning phenomenon is a scam that traps desperate people into paying for emergency services above and beyond what they would typically involve. This method is being one of the fastest growing scams in the United States, unqualified locksmiths advertises a number in the paper then charge panicking individuals up to 10 times the accepted locksmith services rates.
There are some ways that you can keep yourself from becoming a target.
- Research – Don’t wait until there is an emergency before looking up a locksmith. Look up locksmiths with an established history working within the community. Stay away from those who aren’t a registered company – Anonymity is one of the leading ways people take advantage of individuals in a desperate situation. Make a small research, find what people say about a potential company that you find, call a few of the local locksmiths and see what their rates are. Verify that the company has a No Fix –No Fee policy, that way if they can’t do the job they won’t charge you for it. If you find yourself in an emergency situation, do not accept a suspiciously low cost such as those going below £50-60. If it is too low there’s bigger chance for a scam. Instead, go for the middle path.
- Pay Attention – Open your eyes to anything suspicious. Take off tradesmen sticker advertisements of your home entrance and surroundings if you’re not sure who left it there. If you didn’t have a locksmith done any work recently with whom you’ve agreed to put a sticker at your front door take off any advertisement stickers that you see around your front door. You can never know what purpose they might use. If a house in your neighborhood as recently was burglarized, then be aware! There is an increased chance that another house on the street will be burglarized for the next couple of weeks. As it turns out, individuals looking to see if a house can be gotten into will sometimes scout an entire neighborhood, meaning that everyone is at risk. Report suspicious activity if you notice it.
- On Site Awareness – Confirm the costs with the locksmith on his arrival – prior to the unlocking of your door or change of your locks. In addition if have any doubts about the locksmith’s reliability take down their vehicle license plate number and ask for an invoice with company’s details when job is done.