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If you're locked out of your house or car, choosing the first locksmith you see on a Google search is not a good idea. That's because it's usually an ad for $15 or $19 "service call" but will end up costing you hundreds ($100, $200, $300, etc.).

The scheme has been going for years.

You call the company with a generic name, and cheap service call price only to have a dispatcher in a completely different state take your call.  

They can't ever tell how much the service will be, only the "starting prices" which are always unrealistically low. 

They will tell you that the price depends on the "security level" of the lock. They are lying to you! In the end, they'll end up charging you several hundreds of dollars. 

Here's the truth: most, if not all house locks are standard dead bolt locks that you can purchase at any home improvement store for less than $20. Any legitimate locksmith will tell you a true high-security lock is one that you have likely never seen before and are a bit more complicated to open than standard locks.

If you're locked out of your home. Some locksmiths will charge you $150 to pick a standard dead bolt lock.  

A legitimate locksmith should be able to give you a good estimate of how much their service will be. 

If the scam locksmith can't give you a full price, or won't, then don't use them. 

The problem is, many of you panic and go with the first option that pops up. Then make things even worse when you sign for charges that are way more than you should have paid. Once you do that, there's almost no way out of paying. 

If you are being charged more, negotiate the price down. 

Better yet, check online reviews and agencies like the Better Business Bureau to find a reputable locksmith. 

Bottom line, if you do a little bit of research you can avoid these scammers who want to do nothing but overcharge you.

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