It is very frustrating when you lock yourself out of your office or home especially at certain hours of the morning or night. The services of a locksmith are very crucial at such a time. Ideally it should be easy for you to call a smith who will show up within the shortest time possible, undo the locks quickly and expertly. Then you pay the agreed amount before they go and you get into your premise. However, this is not the case on the ground as there are so many online scammers who are out to steal from unsuspecting and frustrated customers.
In your panic, you may not pay attention to the phone conversation. However, this should be one of the easiest ways to identify online scammers. Whether you are chatting online or on phone, you can tell a scammer by the way they provide information to you. Someone who is hesitant and evasive with important information such as cost could be a scammer. Look for precise information when inquiring about services and prices. Ask as many questions as possible. You can always tell when the person at the end of the line knows what they are talking about.
When the locksmith arrives check out for company branding such as logos. Companies that provide branded cars, uniforms and tools for their staff are more trustworthy because in the absence of the marked car and uniform, you can easily stop them on their tracks before any damage is done. Do not hesitate to ask for some identification to confirm that they indeed work for the company you called.
A genuine locksmith should seek to find out the problem and examine the locks to see how best they can unlock your door. Before they get down to unlocking your doors, ask them about the prices again. If you are dealing with a scammer they are likely to give you a different price than what was earlier quoted. This should raise a red flag.
Many scammers will do the job hurriedly and badly since they are not professionals. Their aim is to get your money and go before you suspect that they are fraudsters. Check the quality of the job the locksmith is doing as well as the tools he is using. Beware of any locksmith whose first solution is to drill your knob. In some cases, your knob may need drilling but look at what other options the locksmith has before settling for that.
Finally, a legitimate company should allow you to make payments to them directly through a cheque in their name or money transfer. If however the payment is credited to an individual account, you may have just gotten scammed.