Scamming Locksmiths are out in Milwaukee, make sure your are careful.
Locked out of your car or home, you pull out your phone and type “locksmith” into Google. Up pops a list of names, the most promising of which appear beneath the paid ads, in space reserved for local service companies.
You might assume that the search engine’s algorithm has instantly sifted through the possibilities and presented those that are near you and that have earned good customer reviews. Some listings will certainly fit that description. But odds are good that your results include locksmiths that are not locksmiths at all.
They are call centers, often out of state, sometimes in a different country that use a high-tech ruse to trick Google into presenting them as physical stores in your neighborhood. These operations, known as lead generators, or lead gens for short, keep a group of poorly trained subcontractors on call. After your details are forwarded, usually via text, one of those subcontractors jumps in a car and heads to your vehicle or home. That is when the trouble starts.
The goal of lead gens is to wrest as much money as possible from every customer, according to lawsuits.
Follow these tips to make sure you are using a legitimate locksmith.
Make sure you ask for their ID and license number.
Never fall for starting at prices of $15, $19, $25 etc… more than likely those are scammers.
Don’t fall for scare tactics either. If you have not agreed on a price and they say you owe them a trip charge and they say they will call the police, say sure call the Police. That should scare them off. If not then they are breaking the law if they don’t leave and that’s called trespassing or stalking.
A true locksmith is always able to give you at least an estimated price over the phone. Please be aware of who you call. Lockout services are always a flat rate and most car key replacements are flat rates. Most of all, read reviews before you call a locksmith. If they don’t have good reviews and have some fake good reviews, then you are likely to be scammed and pay too much.
Some illegal locksmith companies will pose as other locksmiths and use their name as their own to try and fool you or destroy a local honest locksmiths reputation.
The best way to know is to call and talk with the locksmith you want to use. Ask questions, feel them out and read their reviews on google, yelp and facebook. A real local locksmith keeps up with his pages and listings and follows up on posts and replies back to reviews.