Do you know everyone who has a key to your home?
People usually keep a few spare keys on hand, sometimes entrusting one to a friend or neighbor that lives nearby as a backup in the event of a lockout or giving one to an extended family member who may use the house for any number of reasons. But is there anyone else with copies of your keys?
As your REALTOR® I do recommend that you change the locks on your home when moving into a new house to eliminate the possibility of any prior residents, contractors or REALTORS® holding on to a working key. Not all folks are thieves, but why take a chance? You can even upgrade to a “hi-tec” version when you are changing locks.
95% of online locksmith ads are scams, and locksmiths are among the most commonly reported complaints according to the Better Business Bureau. Some of the most common forms of scams include baiting customers with low prices and then price gouging after the service is provided, accepting cash only to limit a client’s ability to dispute charges, and claiming a whole new door handle is required when a lock could be easily picked in order to score an overpriced hardware sale.
While all of these scams can be frustrating and costly, one of the most dangerous is when a
scammer makes an additional copy of your key for personal use when changing locks in order to gain access to your home when you aren’t there. Few people would ever expect that their “so-called” locksmith might end up being their burglar as well.
Reliable, legitimate locksmiths can be hard to come by, especially when only 15 states in the United States require them to be licensed. And even in cities and states where licensing is enforced, there are still complaints about illegitimate locksmiths taking advantage of unsuspecting customers during the process of changing locks.
Don’t wait until you are locked out of your home, panicked and scrambling to find the fastest way back in, is not the time you want to make a decision about in whom you are about to entrust your home security. Finding a trustworthy locksmith starts with doing your homework, which is where most people make their fatal error.
The key is to have a trusted locksmith on hand in case the need for one should ever arise. Ask your REALTOR® for recommendations. This gives you all the time you need to read reviews, ask questions, and choose someone you feel is worthy of your trust. Not only will being prepared protect you from scammers, it will also make a lock-out situation a much less stressful experience than it otherwise would be.
The Mr. Rekey Locksmith Scam Survival Guide provides you with all the information you need to know to protect yourself against scammers and to find a locksmith you can count on. Being knowledgeable and proactive are the best ways to avoid becoming the next locksmith scam victim, so prepare yourself by finding a reputable locksmith today.