Beware! Locking yourself out of your car or home is frustrating enough. But imagine calling a locksmith then being charged double – or even more – the quoted fee. The Attorney General’s Office receives complaints every per month about so-called “local” locksmiths pulling a bait-and-switch. In many cases, these “locksmiths” arrive in unmarked vehicles, damage doors in their feeble attempts to pick locks and still demand more money. • If you’re locked out of your car and have a roadside assistance service, call them first. • Ask for referrals from your Judy’s Book or Facebook Friends. • Use a locksmith with a shop. A physical location or shop ensures that you have a way to contact the business in case of a problem, but of course you’ll need to confirm the address. • Dial a local number and listen to how the person answers the phone. If a company answers the phone with a generic phrase like "locksmith," rather than a company-specific name, be wary. Ask for the legal name of the business. If the person refuses, call another locksmith. • Get an estimate for all work and replacement parts from the locksmith before work begins. In cases of a lock-out, most legitimate locksmiths will give you an estimate on the phone for the total cost of the work. After the work is completed, demand an invoice. • Ask for ID, including a business card. Expect the locksmith to ask you for identification, as well. A legitimate locksmith should confirm your identity and make sure you’re the property owner before doing any work. Some legitimate locksmiths will work out of a car for quick or emergency jobs, but most will arrive in a service vehicle that is clearly marked with the name of the business. • Remember, this person has the keys to your car or home. So if you’re not comfortable with the service provider, refuse service.