Horror stories abound on the internet of locksmith scams. Thankfully, the problem is much more prevalent in the US than here in Australia. But it still pays to be aware of the potential locksmith scams around and how you can protect yourself.
The vulnerability of locking yourself out of your house or car can leave you open to various scammers. The most common scam is for someone to pose as a legitimate locksmith. They’ll list themselves in online directories, perhaps have ads on Google appear for your local area and they may even have a website.
You’ll call the number and be quoted an incredibly low amount for a locksmith to unlock your door or car. On arrival, however, the lock will be “harder than they thought” or even “unable to be picked” necessitating a more costly solution that will leave you with a broken or unusable lock and a hefty bill.
While emergency locksmith services can be expensive, you shouldn’t feel like you’re being held to ransom.
We’ve pulled together our top tips for avoiding locksmith scams in Melbourne to help you sort the legit from the dodgy.
Review Their Online Reputation
A legitimate locksmith will have a reasonable amount of positive reviews listed both on their own website, and also on dedicated review websites. Have a read through them to get a feel for their service and how competently and professionally they completed the job.
Also check how far back the reviews go – do they all appear to have been added mysteriously in the last month? Or do they have a history of good reviews?
Check Out Their Website
A good looking website is a sure sign you’re dealing with a professional locksmith. Check that they have the following on their website:
- Contact phone number (ideally a landline and not just a mobile)
- Physical address
- Operating hours
- Their accreditations
Another good sign is if they have included links to their social media accounts, which you can also check out for reviews and activity.
Check They Are Accredited and Registered
A legitimate locksmith will be accredited with their local or state locksmith association. For example, Amalgamated Locksmiths is registered with the Master Locksmiths Association of Australasia. This is an independent professional body and is recognised as the peak organisation for locksmiths in Australia and the Pacific region. All Master Locksmiths members must:
- be qualified and experienced
- be licensed to operate as a locksmith under the relevant State or Territory legislation; and,
- abide by an established code of ethics and code of conduct
You should search the Master Locksmiths Association website to check that your local locksmith is registered with them.
Don’t Wait For An Emergency To Find a Locksmith
Perhaps the best advice we can offer is not to wait for an emergency to find yourself a reputable locksmith in Melbourne. Spend some time researching your local locksmith and check out their bona fides and online reviews. Then save their number in your phone so if an emergency does arise you’ll be able to make a quick phone call and trust that the locksmith that turns up can do the job. A bit of research now can save you a lot of stress later on.