1. Before even contacting them, check their ad and website for an address. Then check Google and directory listings for customer reviews.
2. When you phone them, ask where they or their technicians are based (again, checking the address), whether they are licensed and what the registered name of the business is. End it here if you’re not satisfied with the replies.
3. Otherwise, still on the phone, ask what their preliminary estimate of the cost will be. Don’t fall for an outrageously low price — like $10 or $20. It’s a sure sign of a scam or, at the very least, you’ll end up paying a lot more.
4. Tell the locksmith dispatcher you will want to see the technician’s ID and certification, before they start work.
5. When the locksmith arrives, check out their vehicle. Make a note of the license number. Be very dubious if they roll up in an unmarked vehicle or if their behavior seems unprofessional in any way.
6. Check the individual’s credentials
Don’t proceed. If he says the lock will have to be drilled out, ask him to explain why, and consider finding an alternative.
7. Don’t hand over your credit card or cash until you are happy with the estimate. If they insist on cash, by the way, that’s another potential scam signal.