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How to Spot a Moving Company Scam

How to Spot and Avoid Moving Company Scams

Moving can be an exhilarating experience filled with new beginnings. However, it can also be stressful, involving extensive packing, planning, and organizing. The situation becomes even more challenging if you fall victim to a moving company scam. To protect yourself, knowing how to spot a moving company scam is crucial. 

What Is a Moving Company Scam?

A moving company scam involves fraudulent activities that exploit customers during their relocation. Transparency from the moving company is vital to spotting these scams. A legitimate company will be transparent about fees and policies, easy to contact, and willing to answer your questions. If a company seems misleading or deceptive, be cautious of potential scams.

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Common Moving Scams 

Moving scams come in various forms, including overcharges, hostage items, disappearing movers, and no-show movers. Overcharges occur when a company initially provides a low estimate but adds extra fees after picking up your belongings. Some companies may hold your items hostage and demand additional, undisclosed fees for their release. Disappearing movers take your belongings and vanish or never show up after receiving an upfront deposit on moving day. To avoid these scams, seek transparency from the moving company and avoid making large upfront deposits.

How to Spot Moving Company Scams 

Be vigilant for unprofessional behavior and a lack of transparency. Watch out for the following red flags:

  • Answering the phone with a non-specific name
  • Demanding large upfront deposits or cash payments
  • Asking you to sign a blank or vague contract
  • Providing vague answers to your questions
  • Failing to provide a physical address
  • Not offering an in-home estimate
  • Charging by the cubic foot instead of weight
  • Refusing to provide a written estimate or contract before booking
  • Showing up in an unmarked vehicle
  • Lacking a valid USDOT number

If you encounter any of these signs, be cautious. It’s okay to be skeptical when your time, money, and property are at risk. Read reviews from multiple sources to gauge customer experiences and ensure the company is registered with the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), licensed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and properly insured.

A person moving and feeling stressed because she used rogue movers. She fell victim to a moving company scam.

Should I File a Complaint?

If you fall victim to moving fraud, file a complaint against the offending company. If the issue cannot be resolved directly with the company, gather all relevant information and file a complaint with the FMCSA. You can also report the fraud to your state authorities and share your experience online to warn others. Reporting the activity helps prevent others from being scammed.

How to Avoid Being Scammed

To avoid scams, stay alert to the red flags mentioned above. Conduct thorough research, read reviews, and seek referrals from friends and family. Reputable companies usually operate on a “payment upon delivery” basis, use a single name consistently, and provide a detailed written contract.

In Conclusion | How to Spot a Moving Company Scam

By following these tips, you can spot moving company scams and ensure you hire a trustworthy company to meet your relocation needs. Stay informed and take the necessary steps to protect yourself from fraud.
 
Are you preparing for a move? Contact us at 888-507-6304 or complete our online residential services quote form to set up a FREE in-home or virtual moving survey
 

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