Locksmith scammers are now starting to infiltrate Minnesota. Protect yourself from these criminals, and here is how:
Tips for Avoiding the Scam (some of this information has been garnered from some of the best locksmith companies in the states.)
1. Always Get a Flat Rate Over the Phone First
Any time you hear the words “and up,” run in the other direction. A legitimate locksmith knows the price of each job and will be able to give you a flat quote and a very small price range depending on the situation. Although there are SOME instances that a flat rate cannot be given, but the legitimate locksmith will ask many questions to narrow down your needs.
2. Find a Locksmith Before Its Needed
Before an emergency that requires a locksmith, investigate qualified companies in your area. Please keep in mind that not all locksmiths do everything. Many specialize. Keep the information on your phone where it’s accessible.
3. Generic Answering
Instead of answering the phone with the name of the locksmith or his business, the call center will say something like “locksmith services,” or “locksmith.” Ask for the name of the company you’re calling. At a call center, many calls are routed, and they won’t be able to give you the right name. You might ask them where they’re located as well. These are two of the easiest ways to reveal a fraud.
4. Unmarked Vehicles
The fake locksmiths are contractors with no license, and in many states there is NO licensing laws,. They won’t have a vehicle for the company you’ve called. Unmarked vehicles are the second big giveaway when it comes to revealing a scam. You’re free to call another locksmith if the unmarked vehicle makes you nervous. They will try to pressure you into paying the service charge, but please don’t. That is part of the scam. If they do, call the police immediately !!
5. Ask for an ID
Before the locksmith begins his work, ask for ID and his license (if applicable). He should be able to provide both. All legitimate locksmiths will have these, if their states require a license.
So protect yourself and your family from scammers !! Do not be afraid to call local law enforcement if you feel threatened or uncomfortable.