When it is a matter of your security, one needs to be extra careful. This means that it becomes all the more imperative to properly ID your locksmith to avoid getting duped. Locksmiths know your weak spots better than anyone else and can thus take advantage of your trust. Let us see how you can segregate between a professional locksmith and a scammer to avoid a mishap.
Choose a local
It is always a good idea to contact a locksmith in your area rather than someone from the outside. Not only will there be a past record and review of their services but they can easily be traced by the authorities if things go south. Make sure to check that your locksmith has a local address and phone number. You can even run an online search to be sure before you take their aid with issues related to your security and safety.
Check license and ID
Make a habit to check the IDs of anyone who enters your house or other establishments. Most countries mandate that locksmiths are properly licensed. You can therefore ask to see their license to be sure. Be wary of any individual using unmarked or unlicensed vehicles. Do not indulge anyone who bears a different company name than the one contacted by you. Furthermore, professional locksmiths will always ask for proof of ownership of the house that needs to be unlocked. Keeping these simple tips in mind can help you avoid a tragedy.
Ask for an estimated cost
It is usually unlicensed or sketchy professionals who will be willing to work for an unreasonably low price. These individuals show up only to charge you extra for unnecessary reasons or they might have something bigger on their mind. It is thus a good idea to ask for an estimate before you book the services of a locksmith to avoid any hassle later on. Make it a point to also ask about any extra charges like mileage that can be added to the final bill.
There is no reason to drill out a lock except if it’s a specialized mechanism that prevents the locksmith from picking the lock. Drilling the lock in order to replace it might cost you a fortune. An ordinary lock does not however need drilling in order to replace it. Drilling a lock is usually a way for non-professional locksmiths to add extra charges on top of the final cost. It is best to refuse such procedures unless you have a safe that needs to be opened.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
When someone is locked out of their car or home, it is their priority to get in as soon as possible. People are often overwhelmed during such emergencies, forgetting to ask important questions. These questions are important if you want to avoid getting ripped off. Here are a few questions you can ask to prevent yourself from getting scammed. Pay attention to what the locksmith has to say in response to the following questions:
- Where is their company located?
- What is their license number?
- What is the locksmith’s name that will be sent by the company?
- How will they gain access?
- Do they need a picture of the lock?
- What is the estimated cost?
- What extra charges are levied on the final bill?
- Do they take credit cards?
Prepare for the worst-case scenario
Just like the old saying goes, “it is better to be safe than sorry,” being prepared for adversities will always help you avoid them. Keep the above-mentioned tips in mind for the times you find yourself in a fix. The easiest way to avoid getting duped however is to develop a relationship with your local locksmith. Find yourself a skilled professional and stick to their services whenever you need a locksmith. A familiar locksmith that can be trusted will prove to be invaluable when one day you find yourself in a tight spot!
Locksmiths rescue you from distress and can therefore be deemed as your saviors. However, sometimes if one is not careful, danger can easily disguise itself as these saviors, taking advantage of your dire situation. So, stay cautious when it is a matter of your security.