Scammers look to take advantage of people when they are vulnerable. There are few things in life that are more stressful than a move, and so scammers latch on to people they know that are in this position. A quick search of “moving scam” will pull up horror stories of stolen or lost belongings. Use these tips to steer clear of any potential moving scams, whether you are making a long-distance move or a local move.
How To Avoid Moving Scams In 5 Tips
1. Be Wary of Unusual Requests
Typically, moving companies will require a deposit, and then the full payment for services will be due after the move is complete. If a company is asking for the full amount (or an unusually high deposit) upfront, it may be a warning that you’re talking to a scammer. Also – a moving company may be able to provide an estimate over the phone, but an actual quote will need to be done in person.
2. Do Your Research
Is this company well-established? Some indications that this may be a scam company is if an address is not listed on the company website, the company does not have any website, or there is no information about the movers’ insurance. You should also be sure to ask the moving company questions to verify any information.
3. Ask for It In Writing
If a company is unable or unwilling to provide written proof of their insurance, you can immediately tell that the company is questionable, at best. You should also request a written contract with pick-up and delivery dates, as well as the amount you’re expected to pay. If a company is unwilling to create a contract, or the contract they do provide seems too generic or full of errors, choose another company to work with instead.
4. If It Sounds Too Good To Be True, It Probably Is
Some scammers will submit a low-ball bid in order to become the most attractive option but then will require a huge payment for the return of your belongings. If one quote comes in well below all of the others, pay extra special attention to that company before agreeing to work with them.
5. Too Much Anonymity
Scam companies will often use multiple company names to avoid being caught. When you call the company, if they respond generically, such as “movers”, this can be an indicator that this is a fraudulent company. Along those lines, if a moving company rents their vehicles or using unbranded vehicles, that is another red flag.
If you do get in the situation where your movers say they won’t release your items without additional payment, call law enforcement for help and report the business to the BBB. Knowing what to look for can help you identify potential scams early and avoid losing any money.