When the time comes to have keys Chicago made, you may feel one locksmith is as good as another. Finding a reputable locksmith is harder than ever as many listed in the phone book are nothing more than scams. Disreputable locksmiths have become such a problem that the FTC has issued an alert, one that lets consumers know how to avoid scams. Here are some questions which should be asked if you have having keys Chicago made.

Are you licensed to operate in the state of Illinois? If so, what is your license number? When a locksmith is unable to provide this information, continue looking as this is a warning sign you are dealing with a disreputable person or company.

Do you operate as a contractor for a locksmith company based in another state? When the answer to this question is yes, be sure to investigate the company and ensure it is licensed to operate in Chicago. The BBB may be a of great help in learning if the company does exist and, if so, its reputation. Most quality locksmiths don’t subcontract in this manner.

Ask to see the certificate of insurance. Don’t assume that, just because a certificate is provided, the policy remains in effect. Contact the insurance company to verify the policy to protect yourself and your possessions.

What is the fee for the work to be done? Many overlook this question which can be a huge mistake. Make sure the locksmith provides the fees in writing before the work begins. If he or she attempts to charge you more, refuse to pay. A reputable locksmith in Chicago will alert you to any additional charges before proceeding. Some companies provide a quote for the service call and lead you to believe this is the total charge. Reputable locksmiths won’t do this.

Will lock cylinders be filed down? If the answer is yes, find another locksmith. Filing down the lock plugs makes it easier for others to access your home. Your neighbor’s key may even unlock your door! Locksmiths who use this method turn down jobs when they are asked this question so make sure you ask before the work begins.

Do you make copies of keys Chicago on site? Locksmiths looking to scam you will only have one key when doing a rekey job. A reputable locksmith, in contrast, makes keys on site which is what you want and need.

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