Beware Of Fraudulent Locksmith Paid Ad
Listing Results on Google, Bing, and Yahoo
You have lost your auto, home or business keys and so you are in a panic.
That’s what these Internet Locksmith Extorters are betting on.
Here's how the scam works…
1. Criminal businesses known as "lead generators” create dozens of websites for locksmith companies that don’t exist in Northern Virginia. Do a Google search for Locksmith Manassas VA and you will see their Paid Ads.
2. Never click on a Paid Ad unless you recognize a local number and local address of the Locksmith. You are asking for big time trouble.
3. Always look for non-paid page results lower down on the page, that’s where the local listings of Locksmiths near you are located.
4. In some cases, the person who arrives at your door will not be a real locksmith and may fix the problem by drilling the lock, which destroys the lock and creates a bigger bill. The sub-contractor may say the job was more complicated than expected, often asking three to 10 times more money than the original estimate, betting that most people will simply pay the bill and get on with their lives.
Here are some signs of the scam to be on the lookout for:
- When you land on the Google, Bing or Yahoo web results page look for a Local License Number and local phone number on the Locksmiths web site…If neither exist move on your search. Never email a request from a web site that does not have a license or local phone number, you are setting yourself up for SPAM.
- When you find one and call and you are not talking to a locksmith; but get a dispatcher who answers the phone with a generic phrase like “service” or “locksmith” but not the name of the business you called - Hang Up Immediately.
- The fake locksmith ads may promise a 15-minute response time or something similar, but it may take 1 or 2 hours for the workman to arrive. That’s because the workman isn't as close as the Google Maps listing leads you to believe.
- For work on a car, a scammer may be quick to explain why it’ll cost you a lot of money. If your car is old, he’ll say it’s because it’s old. If it’s new, it’s because it’s new. Hang Up Immediately.
- A fake locksmith may insist that you pay cash. If you push back, he may say that he can only accept debit. A scammer wants to avoid credit cards because of the possibility of it being traced.