What’s in a name? - A lot when it comes to locksmithing!
There has recently been an increasing number of reports where companies are being set up with identical, or very similar names, as long standing locksmithing companies.
Other cases involve a fraudulent company trying to fool customers into believing they're somebody they're not, by advertising with a legitimate company's address. By using a generic locksmith style name, with an address a legitimately trading locksmith, the imposter is trying to fool the customer into using their services, on the back of someone else established company.
This practice impacts negatively for both the legitimate and the customer. If the scam locksmith completes the job to a high standard, then the legitimate locksmith loses out on work. If, however, the job is finished poorly, the first the bonafide locksmith will know about it is when the customer phones or comes into the shop to complain about the shoddy work. Therefore both the customer and the legitimate company have been duped as a result of misleading advertising or naming of companies.
One particularly scary example involves a school contracting a locksmithing company to carry out. They had in fact enlisted the services of a scam company, claiming to be from the legitimate company. The potential ramifications of having unknown, probably un-vetted people in a school environment are very worrying.
Another example is of a scam locksmith advertising the same phone number and claiming to be trading within the same building as a MLA licensed locksmiths, when in reality they were in no way affiliated.
How can you protect yourself?
The most important thing you can do is to always double check the company are who they say they are. Ask friends and family for recommendations, as if they have had a bad experience with a company, the chances are you are likely to as well. If they’re an MLA licensed locksmith then you can easily check their details against their page on the MLA website. Ask the locksmith for ID and then verify their details. A legitimate locksmith should have no problem in you doing this, a scammer may struggle though.
Questions you need to ask to avoid being scammed:
1. If anything things sound a bit suspicious when you ask the locksmith for a ID then ask questions.
2. Be sure you know who you’re speaking to and who it is that you’re getting to do your work.
3. If things don’t feel right then contact the legitimate company using contact details you find yourself rather than any they provide.