Top 6 Most Common Moving Scams
Are you moving soon and afraid to get scammed? Thinking about how to detect and avoid fraudulent moving companies? Because in pursuit of easy money, some people come together to pretend to be a moving company to scam others. Scammers take people’s possessions in their truck and demand to pay outrageous fees. Else, the scammers won’t return people’s belongings or leave them somewhere on the streets.
In this article, we would like to talk about the most prevalent moving scams to help you avoid them. Companies lacking proper licensing and insurance, asking for large deposits, and not providing written quotes are one of the most common moving scams.
- 1. Pretending to be properly licensed and insured.
- 2. The name change.
- 3. Not providing written or digital quotes.
- 4. Asking for a large deposit or a full payment upfront.
- 5. Partial contracts.
- 6. Insisting on paying cash only.
1. Pretending to be properly licensed and insured.
How do you check if a moving company is properly licensed and insured?
Look up their USDOT number. You can go to safer.fmcsa.dot.gov“Company Snapshot” in the middle-lower section of the home page to search for information about a mover’s certification.
A company should have the Better Business Bureau (BBB) accreditation. Check the moving company’s record with the local Better Business Bureau and read reviews.
If you ask for a Certificate of Insurance (COI), licensed companies will have no problems with providing it for a small fee. But if you ask the salesperson, and he or she gets uncomfortable, then it is a sign that the company might not be insured.
2. The name change.
Some companies get around the Better Business Bureau by doing business under new names. So, how would you check if a mover is reliable? Check that the combination of their name, address, and phone number is consistent online. Also, they should have a website, a business email address, and Google and Yelp business listings. If you find Google and Yelp business listings, read their online reviews.
Their estimates, contracts, and other papers should have their company logo and contact information that is matched with what you found online.
3. Not providing written or digital quotes.
Salespeople claim that they will provide an estimate for the bill after they load your belongings. Why is it bad? Because you don’t know what you are signing up for. Also, you don’t know how pricing works. Fees will quickly accumulate, and you will end up paying 10 times more than you should.
4. Asking for a large deposit or a full payment upfront.
This is another common moving scam aimed towards the people who are moving for the first time. Why should you be suspicious? Because the common practice for legit moving companies is to ask for a small deposit upfront. The rest will be due after the move is completed.
5. Partial contracts.
Do not sign partial, blank, or skinny contracts with the assurance that you will “fill out the details later”. What should include the right moving contract? The moving contract should include all the details of the transaction, clear pricing, and the delivery date. Your contract should list all your belongings. It might not be an exact item by item, but it should be as precise as possible.
6. Insisting on paying cash only.
Why is it bad if a company insists you paying cash? Because you will have no evidence of a transaction, and the moving company can disappear with your money or hold your belongings hostage. Always make sure you get a receipt whether you pay cash or card. Also, don’t prepay a large portion or the entire amount beforehand.
Now, you are aware of the most common moving scams. If you come across any of them, do not work with that moving company. That way you will avoid getting scammed and you can choose a good reputable mover. Try to plan your relocation well in advance and make a detailed inventory of your property. Never hesitate to ask the moving company you chose all the questions you have.