You step out of the home, ready for work, and suddenly come to the realization that your key is still in the keyhole just as you close your door, which locks automatically. What do you do? If panicking is your first course of action, know that most people tend to do this. However, that does not mean it is the most sensible thing to do when you first realize you just locked yourself out. Panicking and stressing can compromise your ability to make decisions, and when you need a locksmith in such a situation, know that this is definitely a negative. Why so? Because nowadays, there are plenty of fake locksmiths looking forward to scamming unknowing and panicking homeowners standing outside their own home. Unless you want to be that person who ended up getting scammed by a locksmith, continue on to find some of the best advice to identify a scammer from a real locksmith. Most of these points tend to apply to both home locksmiths and car locksmith, so you might want to keep on reading even if you got locked out of your car:
Do not look online for locksmiths – once you are out of the house, whipping out your phone and typing in your search bar is probably the most obvious thing to do. Well, you might want to think again, especially if you are going to click on the first search result and call the first emergency locksmith you find. The reason? Plenty of scammers pretend to have an address in your vicinity and flout generic titles and services, when they actually have no physical presence in your area. Instead of falling for this obvious trick, it would be ideal to have a contact ready beforehand (one that you have researched beforehand). If you do have such a contact, you might want to ask your friends, neighbours or family members for any reliable professionals they know or have hired in the past.
What if you have no reliable contacts? – if you cannot get a hold of a locksmith through conventional methods, the least you can do at this point is verifying the locksmith you found on the internet. To do this, call the lock provider and ask them their address – if they cannot provide proof of an address (or worse yet, if they cannot provide one at all), they are probably scammers. Make sure to search the address online, and see if any other businesses are using it as well – if there are any results, that is also another red flag.
Ask for the prices – asking how much they want to charge you for their services is yet another good way to find out if you are being scammed or not. Changing a lock does not cost an obscene amount of money, but neither does it cost nothing. If the professional in question is asking you too high or too insignificant an amount of money, then they are probably not trying to help you at all.