5 Ways to Spot a Fake Auto Locksmith

When you find yourself in need of an auto locksmith, it’s not uncommon to find yourself on edge. It is, after all, a frustrating experience, and you just want to get yourself a set of replacement car keys and get on your way. Unfortunately, there are a lot of fake locksmiths out there who are looking to defraud vulnerable people like you who are desperately looking for a cheap and effective car locksmith service.

In this article, we’re going to point out the risks of hiring a fake locksmith and how to spot an auto locksmith scam to leave you better prepared the next time you need a car locksmith you can trust.

The Dangers of Hiring a Fake Auto Locksmith

You may be wondering how much damage a fake auto locksmith can do, and the answer is quite a lot. These untrustworthy businesses aren’t interested in repeat business or getting a bad reputation, so they will take everything they can. This includes quoting you a low fee to entice you, then adding hidden charges, call-out fees, service costs, and so on. They are not members of any auto locksmith industry body, so you will have no protection there. Since they are not professionals, they could end up causing more damage to your car in the course of fixing it. It has even been known for fake auto locksmiths to make a duplicate copy of your key that they will keep for themselves, perhaps to use at a later date.

How to identify a fake auto locksmith

If you’re searching online for “auto locksmith near me”, how can you tell which of the dozens of search results are legitimate? Fortunately, most locksmith scams are conducted on the cheap, which makes them easy to see through. Here are five very effective ways to do so:

1. Check if they have a website

A proper website takes time and money to set up, something that scam car locksmiths don’t want to invest in. Check whether the company you’re considering has its own primary website, not just a Facebook, Instagram, or Blogspot page.

2. Check out reputable online review sites such as Trustpilot

Trustpilot, Checkatrade, Google Reviews, and other online comparison sites are great ways to find out what real people have to say about a company. Even if the locksmith in question tries to pepper their own positive reviews in there, it can be difficult to escape the flood of bad reviews that a scam company is certain to attract.

3. Check accreditations

The auto locksmith industry in the UK is not regulated by any formal governing body, but professional companies are often members of the Auto Locksmith Association or the Master Locksmith Association or are approved by their local council. If a company claims membership in or accreditation by any such organisation, they should be prepared to show you the evidence of the same.

4. Look for branding on the vehicle

One of the first things people do when growing their business is to invest in the right branding and livery for their work vehicles, and auto locksmiths are no different. If your locksmith arrives in a plain van with no identifying logo or phone number, you might want to ask yourself why that is.

5. Ask for identification

Of course, any professional locksmith should also carry a photographic ID to prove that they are who they say they are. This should have a clear, recent photo of the person in question, their name, and the company logo.

Ways to identify a locksmith scam: final thoughts

If you need an auto locksmith you can trust in the Portsmouth or Hampshire area, you have come to the right place. Here at TCM Automotive today, we are completely transparent in our dealings with our clients and invite you to perform whatever checks make you feel most comfortable before reaching out to us. Call us on 07581 033 606 to see what we can do for you.