Locksmith Portland: How to Ensure You Aren’t Scammed by a Portland Locksmith
Updated: Mar 30, 2020
What Are Portland Locksmith Scams?
Locksmith scams happen every day all over the country, and unfortunately they also happen with Portland locksmiths and locksmiths in locksmiths in Vancouver WA. These scams come in different shapes and sizes, but we will walk you through a few things you can do to protect yourself and have confidence that your physical security and personal information are in good hands.
A common locksmith scam usually starts with a very low price quote, like $15 or $20. But when the technician arrives you are charged hundreds of dollars, sometimes for services you didn’t ask for or approve. Scam companies use intimidation to get you to pay inflated rates, sometimes threatening you or threatening to call the police.
The super-low price quotes are tempting and seem like a great deal at face value. However, in reality, it’s a common tactic used to scam you out of hard-earned money. In reality, it’s not possible for a reputable locksmith to charge so low and stay in business. A mobile locksmith’s fee covers transportation, licensing, tools, insurance and supplies so the company would absolutely lose money on a $20 job.
A number of scam Portland locksmith companies are also not licensed, or employ locksmith technicians who are not licensed, which is a legal requirement in the state of Oregon. These locksmiths are generally not professionally trained and provide shoddy work, leaving you to clean up the mess.
Avoiding Portland locksmith scams: Ask to see a License
When you call for a locksmith in Portland or a locksmith in Salem OR, ask to see their license when they arrive. Every technician should carry their locksmith license with them. If their license is not available, or you would like to check the status of their license before scheduling service, you can easily check online with the Oregon Construction Contractors Board (CCB) by name or license number.
A locksmith’s license is more than just a card. Legitimate locksmiths must pass a certification exam, undergo a criminal background check and become a licensed contractor or work for a licensed contractor. Without an active license, it is illegal to work as a locksmith in Oregon.
Washington state does not require Vancouver locksmiths to be licensed, but you can use the other tips in this post to help identify a reputable locksmith in Vancouver WA.
Avoiding Portland locksmith scams: Check the Company’s CCB Standing
The Oregon Construction Contractors Board (CCB) works to prevent and resolve problems in the construction industry through programs such as licensing, enforcement, dispute resolution and education. Oregon law requires all locksmith companies to be licensed with the CCB, as well as bonded and insured.
The CCB’s website has some great tools for you to get to know the locksmith company you are looking to hire. You can use the “search” feature by entering the company name or CCB license number if you have it. You’ll find details on license status, complaint history, insurance coverage and bond details, all locksmith technicians licensed to work for the company and more.
Avoiding Portland Locksmith Scams: Look For Required Signage
A big red flag when watching out for a Portland locksmith scam is if the locksmith arrives in an unmarked vehicle, meaning there is no identifying signage so it looks like it could be anyone’s car, not a company vehicle. The Oregon CCB requires businesses to display the company name and license number on all vehicles.
A Portland locksmith company’s vehicle isn’t the only place required to display their CCB license number. All company websites, business cards, written bids, print or online advertising, letterheads and contracts must also display the CCB license number.
Avoiding Portland Locksmith Scams: Check The Receipt Before You Sign
In the locksmith industry, prices can vary based on the type of service, what tools need to be used and any part costs. A lot of the time a final quote isn’t given until the locksmith is at the job and can visually determine what needs to be done. It’s at that point that the technician should discuss charges with you and what they are for. You’ll then sign the receipt and agree to pay that amount before the work starts.
But before you sign the receipt, it is incredibly important to ensure it clearly states the pricing for all parts, services and the full amount you will be charged. Also, take a good look at the receipt itself. A legitimate locksmith company in Portland will have the business name, contact information and CCB license number. Watch out for scam locksmith companies who don’t provide a written receipt or who’s receipts just say “locksmith” and are missing means of contact and required license information.
At 24 Hour Lock and Key, our Portland locksmiths, Milwaukie locksmiths and locksmiths in Vancouver WA will always give you a final quote written on a clearly labeled receipt and will answer any questions before beginning a project.
Avoiding Portland Locksmith Scams: Check With The BBB
Researching a Portland locksmith, Locksmith in Salem OR or locksmith in Vancouver WA on the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) website is another good way to verify a legitimate and reputable locksmith company. You can easily search for companies by name to see the BBB’s given rating, customer reviews and any complaints filed.
You can find our page on the BBB's website by searching "24 Hour Lock and Key" or by clicking here.
Locksmith Portland: About 24 Hour Lock and Key
We are a family-run business that has operated as a locksmith in Portland OR since 2018. We also have locksmiths in Salem OR and locksmiths in southern Washington, including locksmiths in Vancouver WA, locksmiths in Camas WA and Battleground locksmiths.
Find out answers to frequently asked questions we get from our customers in Washinton state in our Vancouver WA Locksmith Services and Common Questions post.
If you're interested in what services we provide for our automotive, residential and commercial customers, check out 5 Reasons to Call an Automotive Locksmith, 5 Reason to Call a Residential Locksmith and 5 Reasons to Call a Commercial Locksmith.