Of all the great moving companies out there, unfortunately there are always going to be some that don’t have your best interest at heart. Scammers are always looking for new ways to trick people into either giving them too much money or will actually take their stuff without looking back. We want you to be aware of these tactics that scammers use and how to avoid being tricked into one of them.
- Over the Phone Estimates: If the moving company that you are talking to does an over the phone estimate you should immediately doubt the intentions of the company. How does a company know how much a move will cost without first seeing the size and layout of your house, not to mention the amount of items you are bringing along with you. Most reputable moving companies will come and do a walkthrough of your house so they know what to expect come moving day.
- Registered Company: Does the company you are looking into have an physical address including a phone number? If not, this is not a good sign. Make sure that the company you are looking into is registered with the United States Department of Transportation and has license and moving registration numbers for their company. This way you know that they are an actual company. It is not uncommon for people to rent a truck and act like movers but then will charge you astronomical prices or will take your stuff and leave no trace of your belongings.
- Hidden Fees: When you get your estimate, you should be honest with the moving company. There are situations where you might have forgotten something large that will be added onto your final cost of the move. However, with that being said, one of the most common scams is for companies to offer extremely low moving costs and then at the end your bill can be three or four times higher then what you were expecting. Without a contract set in stone, they can add in fees that were never discussed or expected which can make your moving cost a lot higher.
- Name Switch: A lot of good companies are registered or featured on the Better Business Bureau and this can be a good place to start when looking for any type of company you might be looking for. When companies are written about negatively or are not approved by the BBB, companies will often switch their names as to not have customers discouraged from using them. Looking for reviews, or talking with people that have used the company is always a good place to start when trying to verify the status/credibility of a company.
- Deposit: Another scam to be aware of is when the company demands that you put down a high deposit or pay the amount in full before the move. What usually happens is that they will take your money and run. They will not show up on the moving day and you will have no way to trace your money. If the company wants a small deposit, discuss the options/contract features with them. Sometimes deposits can be helpful for securing the date and ensuring that you will not back out on the company either. If the amount seems like too much money or they are being adamant about the money, maybe take your business elsewhere!
There are probably too many moving scams to even keep track of, but we hope that these main ones will help you avoid the hassle and disappointment of having a scam pulled over on you. Researching and communicating with your moving company is key. It will help you be more understanding of the process and to ensure that your company is working 100% to help you have a successful move.