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If you’re in need of locksmith services, you’ll want to do your research before you hire someone. Unfortunately, there are many locksmith scammers out there who prey on people in need of emergency assistance.
One of the most common ways that they operate is through a fake website and lead-generation call center. The site may appear to be a local locksmith, but it is not.
1. They Use a Generic-Sounding Name
If the company you are calling doesn’t have a local address or a 1-800 number, they are most likely trying to scam you. They may be based out of another state or country, or they may simply be using an address that isn’t related to a legitimate locksmith.
A common way a locksmith scam works is to offer an extremely low price over the phone, but then charge you a much higher amount once they show up at your home or business. Scammers also use bait-and-switch tactics to prey on customers’ emotions and desperation.
The best way to avoid a locksmith scam is to know how to spot them when they first appear. By being aware of the five signs listed below, you can keep yourself and your property safe!
2. They Don’t Have a Local Address
Many locksmith scams operate from a head office location outside of the area they service. So if a company doesn’t have a local address on their website, be very careful about hiring them.
Scammers have also found ways to fake business listings on Google. This involves paying for paid ad space on Google’s search results pages, which appear as if they are the actual business.
These ads are created by lead generators – a type of shady con artist who uses their sophisticated online marketing skills to defraud thousands of customers. They create websites for companies that don’t exist, posing them as an actual business with false reviews and a fake location.
3. They Answer the Phone with a Generic Greeting
One of the most common tricks that scammers use to lure unsuspecting customers is by using a fake company name and logo. This is often coupled with a slew of low-tech marketing techniques, such as inflated pricing or incessant phone calls.
If you’re looking for the best way to spot a locksmith scam in Memphis, one of the first things you should look for is the phone number. While a local number might not be the most effective signal, it’s a good start to weed out the crooks. Additionally, if you have any doubts about a particular service call, don’t be afraid to ask for proof of the price or a written estimate. Then, be sure to make sure the company you hire has a legit-looking business card or website.
4. They Offer a Low Price
If you’re in need of locksmith services, it’s important to choose a reputable company that has an established reputation. However, scammers know that people are often desperate for help and may overlook red flags.
A common scam involves a telemarketer calling you and offering you a low price, usually as low as $15. However, once they arrive on-site, they find a number of reasons to charge you hundreds more than their initial quote.
In order to prevent this from happening, make sure you’re only dealing with a reputable Memphis locksmith. Check their online reviews and look for specific signs that can help you determine whether they’re a scam or not. You can also use the Better Business Bureau to get a heads up before contacting a locksmith.
5. They Don’t Offer a Written Estimate
When you call a locksmith, you should always receive a written estimate before they start work. This estimate should include the amount of labor and service that’s needed. They should also mention any minimum fees, mileage charges and other fees that may be applicable to your situation.
Some scam locksmiths don’t offer a written estimate, or they leave it up to you to ask for one when they arrive. They will often try to jack up the price after they arrive by billing hundreds of dollars for additional charges like “emergency service” or other fees.