November 2, 2021 | HFerris | Blog

Locksmith Scams

Share

Discover more
Locksmith scam sticker

 

Like most other industries, Locksmithing is not exempt from scammers. The need for a Locksmith is not often a regular occurrence so most can just assume that any Locksmith is safe to use, however this unfortunately this isn’t the case. One of the most recently publicized Locksmith scams was a burglary ring who advertised themselves as a Locksmith service and then went out to place stickers on the home of people who had called for their ‘services’ to mark them for other members in the group as an easy target.

In this blog we discuss some ways in which Locksmith scams present themselves and what you can do to try and protect yourself and your home!

 

Stickers

As mentioned, above burglars can mark your home with fake Locksmith stickers. These are a sign to other members of the burglars’ group to of whom to target.

So, what should you do if you see a sticker like this? Firstly, you need to remove it right away and throw away in a bin that is inside your home. Secondly, you should report it to the non-emergency police line so that they can be aware that this scam is operating in your area.

It’s important to note that a real Locksmith company is very unlikely to cold call on your home and would never place a sticker – a real Locksmith would most likely put a leaflet of their services through your letterbox if this was their style of advertising.

 

Google My Business

We like to think that when searching through local businesses on Google that they are all trustworthy, however this is not always the case. Within the Locksmith industry there are no official regulations which means anyone can advertise as a Locksmith – even if they don’t know what they are doing!

Untrained individuals can pose as a professional Locksmith with a business listing on Google where unexpecting people who are in urgent need of a Locksmith unfortunately call them out. At first, they might quote a reasonable price but whilst on site they can often do more damage than good and then can hit you with a huge bill that is miles away from what a professional Locksmith would charge!

For advice on Locksmith prices view our Locksmith Pricing Guide.

 

Although Google maps is a great tool for finding local businesses before you make the call look for a few things:

  • Is a website linked?

Not all Locksmiths will have one, but it is often a good indicator.

  • Do they have any reviews?

Anyone can leave a review for a business on Google but if you have the time read through a few reviews and see what previous customers have said about the business. Our advice would be to avoid business profiles that have no reviews!

 

  • Is there a company name?

Most Locksmiths will have a company name, it may be a brand, or it may just be their name, but we would advise to avoid the ones which are just a variation of Locksmith services.

 

Cash Only Jobs without Receipts

Not being able to take card isn’t uncommon within Locksmithing, as most are mobile Locksmiths working from their vans and not all will have the facilities. However, if a Locksmith is only willing to take cash and will not provide a receipt there may be an issue.

Some scammers will only take cash as it is impossible to trace, and should you make a complaint they could deny they even provided you with services! So, if you are paying with cash make sure that they are providing you with some sort of receipt of the work done.

A reputable and reliable company will issue a receipt with the logo or business name, contact information, and a breakdown of the charges.

 

What Can You do to Avoid a Locksmith Scam?

1.      Research

Researching for reliability is an important step to ensure you are booking a reliable Locksmith. The advert or website should have clear contact information, a company name, a mention of what level the locksmiths are trained to. We also always suggest looking to see if they advertise as a DBS checked Locksmith and if they are linked to companies such as Checkatrade or Which? Trusted Trader.

Another crucial thing to consider is the company’s reviews. So, it’s worth checking out review websites such as Trustpilot or Checkatrade to make sure the company is reliable. If you are searching on Google maps for a Locksmith, it’s worth looking at their reviews on here also.

 

2.      Avoid Locksmiths with no Company Name

While some real certified locksmiths may advertise with no name, it’s more likely that they won’t be real companies but scammers. We suggest looking for a company name somewhere on the advert or on the site, it may not be in the title but it should be included.

 

3.      Ask for Credentials

Almost all Locksmith companies will have a van with their logo/branding on it. If the Locksmith arrives with an unbranded vehicle, it’s not necessarily a cause for concern but it’s best to ask for their identification/certification, and if they refuse then you know what to do!

It’s also best to ask for identification even if they have arrived in a branded van to be sure.

 

4.      Confirm prices

It is important to understand charges before booking a Locksmith. A professional Locksmith should always be upfront with their charges and how they breakdown the cost of a job. If the price is too good to be true or seems ridiculously high, there is nothing wrong in getting a second opinion before deciding who to book in with.

A reliable Locksmith company will always be transparent about their costing and whilst might not be able to give you an exact price for parts (if they are needed for the job) they should be transparent through the whole process.

 

About Keytek® Locksmiths!

Keytek® Locksmiths provide a professional, emergency Locksmith service nationwide.  Keytek® is committed to providing a fast and efficient service with highly trained and reliable Engineers. When using a local Keytek®  mobile Locksmith as a customer or business you can expect to receive a 365 day service, a 1 hour emergency response time*, friendly DBS checked Engineers, 12 month parts guarantee, and a highly trained team to handle your call.

 

Find your local Locksmith here.