Moving Scams You Need to Watch out For

If you are planning on relocating soon, you should arrange your move carefully. Not only when it comes to packing, but also when choosing reliable relocation experts and avoiding moving scams. With our guide, you’ll find out how to handle everything right and prevent possible fraud.

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May 3, 2018 Posted in How-to

Moving Scams – Recognize Them on Time

If you don’t choose your relocation company right, your relocation can grow into an overpriced agony. But to define what a moving scam is, you should be familiar with different types that exist:

  • Those who never show up after receiving a deposit.
  • Movers who knowingly give you a lower estimate based on your belongings’ weight, but charge you more afterward.
  • Moving specialists that did everything right in the beginning, but after loading your belongings on a truck, they never show up at your new
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A Moving Company Should Do An Estimate of Your Belongings

The first contact with your mover can have a decisive impact on your final decision. In fact, it can tell you a lot about the company if you know what to pay attention to. You can recognize a dishonest mover by these signs:

  • Refuses on-site inspection of your belongings
  • Gives you an excellent estimate without an on-site inspection
  • Just walks through your home with out taking any notes
  • Requests cash or a larger deposit before the relocation is done
  • Fails to give you a booklet stating your rights and responsibilities

An Unreliable Mover Can Be Easily Checked

How can you be sure that your mover is legitimate and reliable? Fortunately, there are many ways to check that. Do some research on:

  • The mover’s address. Check if is it local and if the address even exists.
  • Licensing and insurance. All legitimate relocation companies need to be licensed with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
  • Ask for several references. Ask other people about their experiences.
  • Check online reviews. Check online if you can find complaints about their services.
  • Consumer complaints. Call the government’s consumer complaints hotline and research the mover’s history.

With Disreputable Movers, the Cost Will Be Huge

Besides demanding a larger deposit or the full payment in advance, a deceptive company may not give you a signed and completed contract before loading your belongings. That can cause several serious problems during the relocation process.

woman holding money
Be cautious before signing contracts and making a deal with your movers to avoid high final costs

Non-Determined Prices and Extra Fees – Tools for Fraud

If you’re working with scammers, it’s not unusual that after agreeing to a price, you discover that the numbers don’t add up. Some of the extra charges can include the driver’s fee, the fee for the extra time required, or for climbing stairs. Keep in mind that these charges are common with honest movers too, but when they have been added to the contract after the fact and without proper notification in writing, then you can be sure you are a victim of a scam.

Other Oddities Related to Mover’s Services

Any unexpectedly low estimates, based on the cubic footage of van space and not on the estimated load, are suspicious. Rough estimates related to long-distance moves should be a cause for concern. Cross country companies must offer as precise an estimate as possible to ensure there are no unexpected expenses later on.

Thinking in advance can save you some nerves

How to Handle Scam Movers

The most crucial factor when choosing a reliable mover is your common sense. Be critical of the details and do thorough research before you sign anything or accept any of their terms.

Be Cautious and Take Precautionary Measures

To ensure safe relocation and peace of mind, keep your eyes open. Relocation is a challenging, and above all, expensive process. So, before accepting anything or shaking hands, memorize these rules:

  • Don’t ever sign a blank contract
  • Get everything in writing
  • Check the license with the authorities
  • Get a written contract
  • Confirm insurance coverage
  • Read the terms and conditions of the agreement
  • Understand the limits of liability and the disclaimer for it
  • Pick-up and delivery dates should be specified
  • Terms of insurance coverage should be included with purchasing full value protection
  • Ask about anything that you find unclear
Only a written contract with all regularities should be signed

Long-Distance or Local Move – It Doesn’t Matter As Long As You Are Careful

By being cautious and informed, you are doing yourself a favor. Choosing a trustworthy mover among other scams will save your money, time, and nerves. After checking the contract and having insight into possible ambiguities, don’t think your supervisor role is finished. Make sure that their trucks are clearly labeled and that all papers have the company logo on them. Also, don’t use cash except for movers’ tips. If you pay in advance and with cash, you risk losing your belongings and will not have a record of the transaction.

Secure Yourself From Dishonest Companies

Here are some additional resources you can rely on when it comes to moving scams. You can contact or file a complaint to institutions and associations to prevent any possible damage or initiate an investigation of the scam:

If you choose honest and responsible experts with highly professional moving services, then your relocation will be smooth and stress-free. Carefully pick a company that can also provide you with reliable packing services as well as auto shipping and storage, and you won’t have to worry about a thing. If the mover seems right, contact them, request your price estimate, and schedule the moving date.

Anastasia Hill

Apart from being the next fashion icon, Anastasia is also a freelance writer and expert on moving (and packing clothes).



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