RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The Better Business Bureau is warning North Carolinians about a recurring scam involving fake locksmiths

The BBB says the scam starts with a customer being quoted an extremely low price for a locksmith service over the phone. Once the service is performed, the scammer charges a much higher price.

The BBB says if the customer doesn’t pay, the scammer threatens the customer into paying.

If the customer does not pay, the scammer then engages in threatening behavior to intimidate the victim into paying.

“It is important for consumers to be prepared ahead of time,” said Mallory Wojciechowski, President and CEO of BBB serving Eastern North Carolina, in a written release. “Keep the telephone number of a reputable locksmith on hand before an emergency occurs and check to make sure the locksmith you are using is a BBB Accredited Business.”

Wojciechowski suggests asking companies about their licensure. The state of North Carolina requires locksmiths to be licensed.