HAYWARD − Nobody plans on getting locked out of their car or house, which is why few people take the time to research locksmiths before they need one. However, due to the potential consequences, it’s a good idea to find a quality locksmith in advance. The biggest reason for this is simple: not all locksmiths are reputable. For example, some locksmiths are unlicensed, which means they operate outside of state requirements. The State of California requires licensing for both individual locksmiths and locksmith companies. The licensing process involves live scan fingerprinting and a background check.
Calling an unlicensed locksmith is bad enough, but it can get much worse. Locksmith scams are a major problem in the industry—such a problem, in fact, that they’ve been featured on television programs like “Good Morning America.” Typically, locksmith scammers operate by using the classic “bait-and-switch” tactic, where they’ll quote a low price over the phone but jack up the price and demand cash-only payment once the job is complete. It’s not uncommon for these fraudulent locksmiths to leave a job unfinished or the home or business in poor condition, with damage to the locks and doors.
The best way to avoid becoming the victim of a disreputable locksmith is to find a reputable one in advance. That way, when you suddenly find yourself in a tight spot, you can have confidence that you’ll be taken care of.