If you’ve decided to move to another city or town or state, you’re probably looking forward to the exciting trip and the prospects of happy memories you’re going to make there.
As the day draws near, you inform your friends and neighbors, and probably request that they come around to help declutter your apartment. Finally, you settle on a moving company to move your stuff to the new place.
Well, not so fast.
With so many scam firms posing as reputable moving companies, you should be particularly worried whether the company you’ve settled for will make good on its promises.
In the last 2 years alone, the BBB scam tracker revealed 129 reported scams with $10,000 lost per individual scam. That figure is enough to get anyone frightened about hiring any moving companies.
Bearing that in mind, below are some of their common practices and how you steer clear from them.
The dreadful no show-ers
This is one of the oldest plays in the book, and that’s why you need to be mindful of the kind of moving company you’re dealing with.
Here, the fraudulent moving company cajoles unsuspecting victims into depositing huge amounts of cash upfront, and never show up on pickup days.
At the end of the day, you’ve got distraught persons who have paid huge amounts of cash without getting any service in return.
After an agreement has been finalized, the rogue company loads all your properties, and arrive at the destination point. The company refuses to unload your stuff until you make extra payments than what was previously agreed upon. Else, your goods will be held hostage.
The property jackers
Most people mostly fall for this scam as revealed by BBB. In this scenario, the rogue shows up at pickup day, load all your properties, start the engine and jet off…never to be heard from again.
This is the most dangerous scam because you not only lose the money paid for their service but a huge chunk of your life will never be found again.
Now that you’ve come to terms with the different scams, how to ensure that you don’t fall prey to these scams?
- Ask for recommendations. If you haven’t moved in a long time, you should ask your friends or family members for referrals. Chances are they’ve dealt with a reputable moving company and you will easily make use of that service. You can also read online reviews about a moving company you’re planning to hire.
- Check for their licenses. All certified moving companies are mandated to provide their USDOT number available at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website. You can also check their American Moving And Storage Administration (AMSA) certification and the BBB’s accreditation.
- Be wary of huge deposits. A reputable moving company will not demand huge payments upfront, and in cash. If you have to pay, use your credit card so that the transaction can be traced if found fraudulent.
- Unnatural estimates. Any company that gives you estimates over the phone or email are not to be trusted. Reliable moving companies send a rep to your apartment who will access your properties and determine the overall weight before you receive any estimate.
With a lot of scam operations parading themselves as genuine moving companies, one needs to be aware in order to make informed choices in hiring a moving company.