When it comes to needing a Locksmith most people type into Google the word locksmith.
The first thing that they find is a whole heap of listings for locksmiths that are supposedly local to them.
What makes some of the advertising even more attractive is the price that is advertised along with the word locksmith.
The standard price for a locksmith on average to come to you during business hours is approximately $80, some reputable locksmiths can charge up to $150 depending on the expertise of the locksmith who is attending.
For the locksmith scammers to attract their next victim they use ridiculous prices to trick customers “$35 – $0 fee and so on”
This type of tactic is known as the “bait and switch” tactic.
How The Scam Works
Let me explain how this scam works… Unknowingly customers do a Google search and they see the top three results offering $35 or $25 locksmith services.
It’s often the First and the second advertisement offering virtually the same service.
The truth is, it is the same service often with two different numbers answered by two different people from the same company.
Two advertisements are used so that the customer can feel as if they have done the due diligence and sort two different independent quotes.
Most do not use locksmiths on a daily basis, most only use locksmiths once every 3 to 5 years in an emergency situation. So most customers are not familiar with the prices that they are getting.
Once a customer has called one number and been given a price of $35, Plus the price of opening the lock. They then hang up and call the next company who then gives them the same sales pitch.
What makes their sales pitch so different to any other reputable locksmith is that they leave their prices Open ended. This means that it sounds reasonable but they do not provide a fixed quote.
For example, if you were to pay $35 to get a locksmith to come to you on a weekend, what would you be a say a reasonable price to pay to have the lock opened as well.
Most customers would say that if it was $35 to turn up, then it will most likely be another $20 – $30 to have the locksmith work on the lock, considering it’s only a 2-minute job.
From $35 to Some Crazy Price above $380
This is where the scam kicks in. It is $35 to for them to go out there but then they charge $200 to unlock the lock which takes them a total of about 5 minutes.
A lot of these locksmith scanners aren’t even locksmiths and they do more damage to the lock to get the lock open than what is needed if they were competently trained as a locksmith.
In short most customers who find themselves locked out are looking for a cheap solution to get themselves back in and often find that when they use these locksmith scammers they then find themselves in an even worse position with their locks being damaged and drilled open.
Once the damage has been done and the ridiculous price has been paid, most customers are left with a damaged lock or a faulty lock, leading to even more expenses.
So you have the choice at this stage to pay another few hundred dollars to the scammers or be left with your door damaged and unsecured.
Even if you again pay the scammers to replace the lock as you are in a tough position, they often replace the lock with the cheapest lock possible that is most likely not suitable to the fire rating of the door.
So yes you guesses it, you will have to call another locksmith to replace the cheap lock on the next fire inspections.
I think you know what is coming next, the scammers are nowhere to be found for warranty or refunds or reviews, so you can not even protect the next consumer from this horrible locksmith scammer merry-go-round.
Scammers Have No Locksmith Training
A lot of these locksmith scammers do not hold any qualifications in the locksmith industry, some of the people posing as locksmith are backpackers from a different country or just plain handyman posing as Locksmiths.
Dont Get Scammed
Next time you need a locksmith the best thing that you can do is call a locksmith from the organic section of the internet.
Do not call any of the top 3 locksmiths listed in the advertising section as these businesses cannot be reviewed.
If you have a bad experience with one of these locksmith scammers you can not leave a review. One of the ways they get away with it for so long is that previous customers have no ability to review their service at all or complain to Google about them.
It’s only honest and legitimate locksmith who give the customers the ability to review their service.
You can find honest legitimate locksmith services in the map section of Google or in the organic section below the map in Google.
Anything above in the paid section is not necessarily correct and is put there by people willing to pay money for that position for a fast result.
Often when a customer needs a locksmith service they generally do not wish to spend a lot of money, the $35 Price Tag that attracts most customers to this type of scam is nothing more than false advertising.
Ways To Not Get Ripped Off
- If the price seems too good to be true it is
- If a locksmith cannot give you a fixed price don’t use them
- Any qualified locksmith will know what type of locks you have on your door
- If the locksmith cannot provide a quote without seeing your locks generally they are untrained
- Ask the locksmith who attends to show you their security licence
- If the locksmith takes more than 20 minutes to unlock your door something is wrong
- If the locksmith does not carry lock picks don’t use them
- If you are required to pay upfront don’t use them
- If you are quoted any more than $250 to open a lock say NO!
- Do not allow the locksmith to force or damage the door
- A professional locksmith will not damage a door
- SMS the locksmith a photo of your lock and insist on a fixed price
Locksmith Scammers & Your Rights
When it comes to your rights as a consumer you have the right to ask the so-called locksmith to leave at any stage.
If you are unhappy with their work you can also ask them to send you an invoice which you will take up the Department of Fair Trading before paying.
If the scammers threatened to call the police allow them to, as the police will advise them that it is a civil matter and will need to be taken to the Civil court to be heard, and they can not do nothing in this case.
If you have paid $35 for somebody to attend and you are not happy with the following price, can always ask them to leave.
The scammers make no money from the $35 service fee, as their advertisement costs them more than $40 a click. Maybe if you are unhappy you should re-read their website over and over every day, just for fun !! Who knows you may protect the next victim by doing this.
The only way that they will make money is by charging large obscene charges the opening simple locks.
As a consumer you have the right to say no.
Ask them to leave your property and you do not have to pay them.
If you feel confronted or threatened call the police immediately and have them removed and ask the police for them to show evidence that they are a licensed locksmith and allowed to operate as a locksmith.
If you need to get rid of a locksmith scammer ask them to provide you their security license and their master’s license that you can then verify on the SLED website.
If the scammers cannot provide these two details you then can call the police as they are trading illegally and not license to perform the duties they are performing. Report Locksmith Scammers
The fastest way to get rid of a locksmith scammer is to ask them to provide their security license and Masters license which they must do when requested.
If you need to get rid of them, call the Police, start video recording them, Keep asking them to provide identification in the video, let them know you are reporting them.
Let them know the police are on the way to verify their license and that trading without a license carries a fine of $66,000 for a first offense.
The NSW Police force is also responsible for security licensing, this is why calling them is very scary to any scammers.