Home » Tips On Avoiding Locksmith Scams

Tips On Avoiding Locksmith Scams

When you are locked out of your car or home, you are desperate for help. You need a reputable emergency locksmith and you need one now. Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous people out there who are eager to take advantage of your situation. Some unlicensed locksmiths have no problem charging customers several times the going rate for their services. Fortunately, there are ways you can avoid locksmith scams as long as you can set aside your panic and approach your problem with a clear head.

One of the first things you need to do is get an estimate for the locksmith services. An extremely low estimate of $20 is a red flag that should prompt you to hang up and call another locksmith. Depending on where you live and when you call for service, a lockout should cost you somewhere around $150.


Many unlicensed technicians will advertise outrageously low prices to get the job. After they arrive, they take the lock apart and then demand a lot more money to finish the job. The customer feels trapped and pays what the locksmith demands.

You should be aware that many states do not require locksmiths to have a license to practice their trade. If you live in a state that does require a license, ask the dispatcher for the license number and the registered name of the business. Licensed professionals must undergo extensive background checks. Giving someone without a license access to your home or vehicle is risky because you never know what that person’s true agenda is.

When the technician shows up, demand to see a valid ID, proof of insurance and certification. Any reputable technician will have this documentation available and will have no problem showing it to you.

Some people will say that a technician who shows up in an unmarked vehicle should raise a red flag. What you should know is that many reputable locksmiths do not mark their vehicles to protect themselves against theft. If the vehicle is unmarked but the technician has the proper credentials, you should feel confident enough to proceed.

Demand a written estimate before the technician does any work. Do not give the technician cash or a credit card until you are satisfied with the estimate. Another potential sign of a scam is a locksmith who demands cash and refuses to accept a credit card.

You will be doing yourself a favor if you research locksmiths before you actually need one in an emergency. This gives you the opportunity to gather the information you need while you have a clear head and there is no sense of urgency. When you actually need one, you do not have to waste any time while you are in a panic looking into the company’s reputation. Personal references from friends and family member are usually the most reliable when searching for any service provider.

If you remember these tips the next time you need an emergency locksmith in Clearwater FL, you can receive the assistance you need at a reasonable rate.


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  1. October 1, 2015 / 10:01 pm

    In this day and age, I can see the total value in getting a locksmith that will give an estimate for services. The real ones want to get your business and are willing to give an estimate, so that you trust them and will pay them. Also, I love the idea that it is never a good idea to pay cash. You’ve got to protect yourself and create a tracked payment.

  2. October 6, 2015 / 5:55 pm

    Most people know nothing about locksmiths until they are locked out of their house and panicking about what to do next and when people panic, they tend to do rushed things like fall for this type of scam as they prey on vulnerable people. I have learnt a lot from this post.

  3. Emily
    October 9, 2015 / 7:02 pm

    The other day I had a scare where I couldn’t find my house keys. Luckily, I ended up finding them! The situation made me realize that I need to be prepared for a situation when I really am locked out. It is good to know that an extremely low price estimate from a locksmith is a red flag. I will have to keep that in mind!

  4. October 15, 2015 / 8:54 pm

    I think the advice you give to research locksmiths before you need one was a really great idea! As you say, this will give you the opportunity to get the information you need about the locksmiths in your area, which will make hiring one in the future a lot easier! Additionally, I think that researching different locksmiths in your area will give you the opportunity to compare rates and services and help you hire someone that will feed your needs and your budget. Thank you for sharing!

  5. jamesrod214
    November 3, 2015 / 9:14 pm

    I like how you say that if it’s a locksmith charges a low price, that should be a red flag. I feel like, as a society, we just like things cheap and fast. However, we need to pay attention to quality. It’ll help so we don’t get scammed as much. Thanks for the advice!

  6. November 4, 2015 / 12:52 am

    This is great advice for finding a good locksmith. I know that the point you mentioned about ridiculously low prices is a huge indicator of a scam. I have had personal experience with locksmith scams and I have come to know the signs. Definitely do your research to find a reputable locksmith. Thank you for sharing!

  7. Jenn
    November 11, 2015 / 10:50 pm

    We always do research before we hire anyone to do anything for our home. If we can’t find some kind of a testimonial or review about their services, we just don’t bother. I haven’t really heard of any locksmith scams around here, thankfully.

  8. December 3, 2015 / 10:16 am

    After reading this post people will gain great knowledge about locksmith scams! I’ve already learned good information about how to avoid such scams and looking forward to share this post on my social channels, because people deserves to know these types of tips. Great one!

  9. December 11, 2015 / 9:49 pm

    Thanks for addressing these. I wasn’t sure if locksmiths are required to be licensed but regardless if it’s a requirement or not, I think I’d prefer that whoever I hire has licensure. I feel like I would just trust them more. What’s the difference between a license and certification for locksmiths, though?

  10. March 23, 2016 / 4:55 pm

    I like your suggestion to ask for a valid ID, proof of insurance, certification, and a written estimate before the locksmith starts working. While you might want to get the job done as quickly as possible, getting it done right is more important. Make sure the locksmith at least tries to unlock the door before saying the lock needs replacing, since replacing a lock is usually more expensive than opening it. Thanks for the article.

  11. Rob
    October 14, 2016 / 6:16 am

    You have outlined some good points in there about being aware of false locksmiths. Its good to make sure the locksmiths are members of the master locksmiths association as well as been proper registered locksmiths. Making sure they are fully insured and that they have some type of presence on the internet. There are lots of unregistered locksmiths that don’t hold any qualifications.

    Thanks for the write-up to outline this topic.

  12. Anthony
    December 2, 2016 / 7:46 am


  13. Anthony
    December 13, 2016 / 11:58 am

    Great thing you shared with us

  14. January 19, 2017 / 9:54 am

    Truly a good article. Explains a lot to several people how you must operate with a locksmith. Almost everyone will call one when he/she stucked outside of the house and believing you need to call first locksmith you find.
    Fortunalely, thereseare scams. A lot of scams.

    Anda you need not to get caught.

  15. February 7, 2017 / 7:51 am

    Make sure to follow all of these steps, It is always helpful to be prepared. I’m grateful for this

  16. March 29, 2018 / 7:27 am

    Hey Becky,
    Hope you are doing good.
    Very good article about locksmith scam. You should know about locksmith services because Sometimes some people tell us they are locksmith professional, but during lock repair maintenance, they don’t know what to do. They are going to confused. And really thanks for your useful tips.

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