What is a locksmith scam? They come in many shapes and sizes, but generally speaking, it means that someone in need of a locksmith calls someone who is not licensed, experienced, or perhaps a con artist. In addition to performing poor work, they sometimes overcharge customers several hundred percent, and may even cause damage to your home or car. In a lot of cases, victims of scams may need to call a real locksmith back to repair the damage after the fact! The scariest part of the whole situation is that if they’re dishonest, they may make copies of your keys and return at a later date to perform a robbery or home invasion.

How do these scammers get customers? Simple: they post hundreds of fake listings in phone books, online directories, websites, etc. In this way, legitimate locksmith businesses get lost in the mix. These listings, reviews, etc. appear to be legitimate, but are anything but. Because many locksmiths are simply business owners and aren’t very tech savvy, these scammers are able to take advantage of them. Unfortunately, there aren’t many safeguards in place to prevent these scams.

So what can you do? Since many of these scammers are foreigners, their grammar is far from perfect. That is sometimes a dead giveaway. Also, many of these numbers are routed to a dispatch service, so the person on the phone may not know which company you called, what offer you clicked on, etc. They will also hesitate to give a price estimate, because they “need to see the lock”. That’s a bunch of BS! Any legitimate locksmith will be able to give you an estimate over the phone, or at least a ballpark!

Generally, they get you to click or call by:

  1. Advertising a very low price ($15). In reality, they sometimes charge $300, $500, $600!
  2. Advertising a quick response time (15 minutes), but in fact, they usually take around an hour to show up

Once you call, these locksmiths:
  1. Take forever to actually arrive
  2. Drastically overcharge, charging many times more than the estimate
  3. Showing up in an unmarked car or van, or one with a removable magnetic sign
  4. Technician has no sign or ID
  5. No uniform

So what's the end result of working with a scammer?
  • They refuse to answer questions, either because they’re not knowledgeable or just want to take your money and leave
  • They can quickly become irritated with your questions
  • Care ZERO about customer satisfaction
  • Guit trip you into paying a ridiculous fee
  • Lie to you when they don’t know the answer to your question

Once there, a scammer may say that your locks are too secure. As a result, they can’t pick it, and need to drill it. As such, they will ruin your lock and sell you a new one. This replacement is oftentimes a cheap & imported lock that was worse than the one that you had before!

In much the same way, they will tell you that your car is too old or too sophisticated, so it will cost more to fix it. It doesn’t have anything to do with your car, they just want to overcharge you.

When the deed is done, they’ll demand that you pay for their services in cash. If you want to pay with a credit card, it’s suddenly broken. If you really don’t have cash, it magically works again. It’s unbelievable how rude these people can be!

Do you know of a locksmith scam location? Report it to us through our contact page!