Hiring a locksmith entails trust. You are essentially giving a stranger access to your property and whatever locking or security system you have in place. For that reason, states with locksmith licensing regulations as well as bonding and insurance companies conduct thorough background investigations to check for criminal records. But despite the stringent measures government agencies and private organizations have, there are still fraudulent locksmiths that use dubious means to carry out scams. Some of the signs that you may be dealing with a fake locksmith include:
- Lack of legal documents or permits. Be wary of any locksmith that cannot present any documentation or proof that the business is legitimate. If the state does not have any locksmith licensing initiative, check for certifications and memberships with known trade associations. You can also ask for proof of liability insurance or bonding as well as local permits required in running a locksmith business.
- Exaggerated claims. It is natural for any business use advertising to their advantage. Be critical of advertisements that you see. Evaluate the claims objectively. Figure out how to verify information that can influence your choice. When in doubt, do your research to find out more about a prospective locksmith.
- Fake business address. Giving a bogus business address is a ruse a fake locksmith would use to trick customers looking for local service providers. Legitimate locksmiths are aware of this modus operandi of fly-by-night locksmith businesses. Some of these bogus locksmiths may even be part of online scam operations perpetuated across states. This threat makes it even more important to check the physical address of the locksmith business to ensure that it is legitimate.
- Unmarked service vehicles. Locksmith companies usually have marked service vehicles. When a locksmith arrives, check if there is a company logo or any information like contact numbers on the service vehicle.
- No valid identification. Locksmiths are expected to show company or other valid IDs to customers as soon as they arrive. Apart from the IDs, you can ask for a copy of the license or a business card. You should be on your guard when a locksmith does not voluntarily present an ID or blatantly refuses to show you one.
- Lack of transparency. There is no reason for a legitimate locksmith in Dallas to deny your request for a quote. You might want to look for another locksmith if you find yourself dealing with someone that refuses outright to provide a cost estimate. As a customer, you have every right to know how much you expect to pay for the locksmith service you need. It may just be an approximation of the actual amount, but having a rough idea of how much it would cost can help in making your decision.