Many people fall for moving scams and lose their money or get their belongings hijacked because most of these scammers look legitimate and sound friendly.
If you are not careful, these moving scams will make you pay extra as hidden fees.
Fortunately, you can avoid these moving scams by knowing how to spot them and how to find a legit mover.
If you are hiring a professional mover for the first time or you have not moved in a while, it is a better idea to go through the following tips to avoid moving scams.
There is no company information!
If you are on the website of a moving company and cannot find any physical address of their office or the mover’s registration and insurance proofs, it is a red flag. Another sign is when you call the company and there is an automated message starting with “movers” or “moving company” without the company’s name. Avoid such companies to save yourself from moving scams.
The estimates are only through the phone!
The company you choose to move your items should visit your home, look through all your belongings carefully and then make an estimate. If the movers are making an estimate only through the phone, then they may disappear after taking your deposit. ~ says, Yes Movers
The mover asks for the down payment!
A common moving scam is asking the customers for huge down payments and disappearing later on. A minimum downpayment of 20% in the final estimate is normal. But anything beyond that is a red flag.
Then some scammers called rogue movers to hold your belongings with them and demand additional money to return them. Choose a reputed company to avoid such moving scams.
The estimate that you are given should be in writing and be given to you after visiting your home. If the movers are giving you a quote that is dramatically lower than the previous one, the chances are that they are not legit. Always ask for your written estimates.
There is no mention of your rights and responsibilities!
Before interstate moves, every licensed mover will have to provide their customers with a packet that says about their rights and responsibilities when they move. Not obeying this is against the law.
There are several names to the company!
If you can track the company’s history from several names, then it is a good option not to choose that company. Many fraudulent companies change their name to avoid bad reviews and mislead their customers into thinking that they are legit.
Gives you ironclad quotes!
If the mover’s company you choose tells you that your final quote is fixed and cannot be changed, be aware. Many times these quotes change because of the increase or decrease in your household belongings weight.
Insurance that covers everything
If the mover says that their insurance covers everything, they are lying. The average protection that you can get from legit insurance is 60%. This means that the company will reimburse you an amount for the total weight of your belongings in case of damage or theft. Avoid moving scams that say 100% protection with their insurance.
The trucks aren’t marked!
Every moving truck from a reputed company will have their truck marked. If your truck shows up and it is not marked with the company’s name, avoid moving your belongings with them. Also, look for signage on their trucks.
The charges are per cubic foot or volume!
All the mover’s charge by the weight of your belongings. On smaller mover, a company may choose other ways but charging you based on the cubic foot or volume is illegal. Be aware of these charges if they are not based on the weight because it is a moving scam.
If you find anything off with the movers you have picked, it is better to avoid them. Thoroughly research your movers before making any kind of payments to escape moving scams.
No matter how careful you are, scammers will find ways to rob you of your money. You can follow some of these tips to proactively protect yourself from moving scams.
Check for their license:
Always pay with a credit card:
Never pay with your cash for any payment. Always use your credit cards because they are insured. You can forget about your money if you paid with cash and turned into a victim of moving scams.
Read the terms and conditions thoroughly:
Always read your contract and do not avoid reading the terms and conditions. Verify the set pick-up and drop-off dates. The contract should clearly state how the charges are calculated.
Keep a list of all your belongings:
You can forget about some items in a hurry while moving. To avoid this, make a list of all the belongings and the number of boxes before moving and then verify this list with the belongings after moving.
Go through reviews:
Comparing the moving companies online is the best way to find a legitimate company and avoid moving scams. Read all the customer reviews, not just the star rating. The customer reviews will give you a clear picture of the company. If you can’t find the customer reviews on their site, it is a bad sign.
Do not sign any partial or blank contracts:
The contracts you sign should be detailed. If you sign a partial contract, the scammers may trick you into believing that the estimate is low and add up prices without your knowledge.
If you plan early, you will get a lot of time to research the company and take recommendations from your known ones. Rushed plans will only end up landing you in moving scams.
These tips should help you in identifying if the movers company you choose is fraudulent or not.