How to Spot and Avoid Moving Scams

How to Spot and Avoid Moving Scams

Be aware of moving scams when moving.

If you have an upcoming move and need to hire a moving company, you should be wary of moving scams.  A moving scam can turn your already busy and stressful move into a very expensive ordeal.  So do your research until you find an honest moving company.  Below are some tips for recognizing and avoiding a moving scam.

Don’t Hire a Company That Is Not Licensed and Insured

The number one red flag to watch out for are moving companies that are not properly licensed and insured.  If you are moving across the country, then the company should have a license through the United States of Transportation.  If you are moving locally, make sure the company is licensed through the state.   Also, professional and honest moving companies will have insurance.  If they do not, find one that does.  The insurance protects the company from lawsuits and helps them pay clients back for any missing or damaged items. 

Beware of Estimates Too Good to Be True – Signs of Moving Scams

Most moving companies give you an estimate of cost based on the weight of your belongings, and the space the items will take up in the moving truck.  If a moving company gives you a very low estimate, but have not given you an inspection, then it is probably a scam.  They cannot give you a valid estimate based on weight and space if they have not inspected your stuff.  So, on moving day, they may charge you way more because the estimate was not accurate.  No inspection, no deal.  

Don’t Pay a Large Deposit

A reputable moving company will not ask for a deposit upfront, because the honest companies expect to be paid upon completion of the job.  If a moving company asks for a tidy deposit up front, it is most likely a scam.  The scam is that they might not show up to complete the job, or they will take way longer than expected to deliver your belongings.

Pass On Companies With Bad Reviews

Please do your due diligence when researching a potential moving company, and read the reviews of that company online. One or two bad reviews are fine, but you are looking for more positive reviews than not. If the reviews are overwhelmingly negative, then move on.  You can also rely on friends or family who may have used the company.  Sometimes word-of-mouth recommendations are the best way to find the right moving company.  

Get References

A reputable moving company should be able to provide at least 3 good references from former customers.  If they cannot give you references it is a sign that something is wrong.  An honest moving company will be more than happy to share good reviews and references. 

The Company Seems Unprofessional – Signs of Moving Scams

If a prospective moving company seems unprepared it is a red flag too.  Signs of an unprofessional company include having no business address or business email. These are definate sign of a moving scam.  If they drive an unmarked moving truck or don’t wear a business uniform you may want to think twice about hiring them. 

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