Today we are going to answer the question: What to expect when I am locked out? If you’ve ever locked yourself out of your home you know how frustrating it can be. We want to prepare you for what you should expect from a Professional Locksmith if you ever get locked out. We want you to be informed and prepared with questions for any locksmith provider and equipped to spot a scammer.
At Loc-Doc Security, Our Mission is to help you protect your people and your property. We continue to share information like this to help you be informed so you can know the best solutions for the security of your property.
First, let’s explain a typical locksmith scam. This usually happens when the person is already under a great deal of stress and does a quick online search for a locksmith and comes across fake locksmith ads or websites. Most of the time they look legitimate and are even displayed on Google results and maps as a real store in your local area even though there isn’t a storefront. They are normally at the top of search results and list extremely low prices to bait the customer like $10 or $20. These scammers can be individuals or they can be part of a larger call center conglomerate.
Once you contact them, the call is routed to an offsite call center out of your local state and sometimes even the United States. These phone operators will give you a shockingly low quote and send a subcontractor to you. Once the “locksmith” arrives, they will usually claim to encounter a problem with the lock or claim that it is a High Security Lock that is unable to be picked.
The only option they give to you will be drilling the lock. If they do drill the lock, it will destroy the actual hardware and substantially increase the bill. If that wasn’t enough, the scammer locksmith will charge you more than what was originally quoted because of the complexity of the job. We’ve seen reports from people who thought they would be paying $20 to unlock their door get charged $500! This is a horrible practice and we want all of our customers, their friends, and their family to know about these scams so it doesn’t happen to them.
This scam only works because of the customer’s lack of knowledge and how it should actually be done. We want to change that by sharing this information so you won’t be scammed by a fake locksmith.
Here are Red Flags that You are Being Scammed by a Fake Locksmith:
Unusually Low Pricing: Beware of uncommonly low rates, as they are commonly used to grab customers and then once onsite they will charge an exorbitant amount. (Example: $15 Service Call, and then $150 for a rekey)
Not Identifying Business Name & Poor Reputation: Most fly by night scammers won’t answer with a business name (for example when you call us we will answer with: Thank You for Calling Loc Doc Security, How can I help you?”). They will instead say “locksmith” or “locksmith service”. Look up these providers and read the reviews. Go to their website. Do they have actual employees? Are there any names associated on their site? Reputable businesses and professional locksmiths aren’t fearful of identifying themselves with their company name and brand.
Appearance & Unmarked Vehichles: If you unfortunately contacted a scammer and they show up, pay careful attention to their appearance and their vehicle. Most likely they won’t have a uniform on or even any identification of the business on the vehicle. If they are in jorts and a t-shirt they are probably a scammer.
Professional locksmiths will be in a neat uniform that clearly identifies the company they are with.
Also, if their vehicle is a sedan or has a removable magnetic sign, it’s probably a scammer.
Reputable locksmiths have a clearly logoed service van with professional tools inside and will not hide their business name.
Skill Set: If you see a non uniformed person carrying a drill to your door and no other tools, you most likely have a scammer. A professional locksmith will come equipped with tools like rakes, picks, pick guns, decoders, and more to open a locked door.
Professional locksmiths will have gone through extensive training to practice picking a lock without destroying or damaging the customers property.
If the person working on the lock seems to be struggling with the lock, the tools, this can be another sign of inexperience and reliance on just drilling the lock. If they say that you have a High Security lock and you never knew that you had a High Security Lock, they are most likely a scammer. High Security locks aren’t usually found on residential properties.
Some things to consider so you’re not caught in a difficult situation:
Before You Call:
Find a reputable locksmith before you need them. Reputable locksmiths will be licensed and insured and usually belong to Locksmith Associations like ALOA . Look at their website and see who is part of their team. Most reputable locksmiths list their team pictures and names on their site since there is nothing to hide. Read reviews and look at their social media platforms.
Look for clear identification on the service vehicle and on the arriving technician. They will both be outfitted in the company’s logo and can show you identification. Your professional locksmith will show up with tools of the trade. They will have professional tools on their service van and will utilize those to pick open a locked door. They will not resort to drilling the lock and will usually look for another door (like back door or side door or garage door) if the lock won’t open.
Finally, ask for a receipt. Professional locksmiths will be able to give you a receipt and have the ability to take credit cards. Only scammers will demand cash.
Preventative Measures: One of the most important ways to prevent being locked out of your home is to take preventive measures. Leaving a spare key with a trusted friend or family member is a cost free solution but not always the best solution. It also might be tempting to hide a Key in a Fake Rock on your property so you don’t get locked out, but we wouldn’t recommend it. One survey found 35% of people put their hidden key in a fake rock. Unfortunately, most fake rocks look… fake.
Although it’s the same price as a cup of coffee, fake rocks usually stand out and it’s easy for Burglars to find. Other places burglars look for hidden keys are under the doormat, plant pot, rain gutter, front door ledge, and porch lights.
If you’ve hidden a key in one of these places, you might want to invest in a Touchscreen lock. You can easily have peace of mind and Protect your home, belongings, and your family! The best part is that you will never get locked out again!
We recommend this lock by Yale as a preventative measure to getting locked out of your home. One of the benefits of a touchscreen lock is being able to have a custom code for you, your children, and even a house cleaner.
- Easily unlock your door without the hassle of keys using the touchscreen keypad
- Lock the door behind you by simply tapping the keypad or by enabling auto relock
- Create up to 25 unique pin codes to share with friends and family
- 100% key free means no pick or bump break-ins and no lost keys or rekeying
- Quiet motorized deadbolt
- All-code lockout for privacy
- Auto relock option
This Yale lock is sleek and easy to install as a DIY Weekend Project. We even have a step by step video to help you install this Electronic Lock!
You can permanently lose your keys and never worry about being locked out of your home! You can buy the lock at https://locdoc.net/diy/
As always, we are here to help you protect your people and your property. Want to learn more about what to expect when you’re locked out or ready to purchase a touchscreen lock? Reach us by calling 704-554-6121 or chat online!