If you’ve never heard of a moving scam, then consider yourself lucky. But many people across America are falling victim to these scams. Moving scammers have a multitude of ways that they can take advantage of you, but the main scam seems to be packing all of your household items into their truck, and then adding on exorbitant additional fees in transit, effectively holding your items hostage until you pay up. Less popular scams involve unlicensed movers posing as legitimate companies, by-the-hour rates where you are charged even while no work is being done, and in the rare case, a sham company showing up, packing up all of your possessions, and driving away, never to be heard from again. To minimize your risk, follow a few simple guidelines.
- Use a local, reputable business.
- Never do business with a broker. Always do business with the actual moving company.
- Always be sure that the company is licensed to do the work they are to be performing. This includes getting the business’s full name and address, motor carrier (MC) and Department of Transportation (DOT) license numbers, phone numbers and an e-mail address. If a company cannot provide you access to these things, then move on.
- Be sure to use a company with actual employees, and not day laborers. If they use day laborers, there is a chance that they may not have the proper insurance in place.
Additionally, be sure to get any estimates in paper form. They are legally obligated to do so, and if they balk at the idea, then it’s time for you to move on, and find a company that will play by the rules.