With all the stressing and planning that comes with a move, moving scammers will try to get you to trust them with their low prices and promised professionalism. Scammers will most likely hurry the conversation past pricing and will neglect to talk about terms of service until every one of your belongings is already packed up and on their truck. From there, they’ll change the price.
If you haven’t read through the moving contract thoroughly enough (or didn’t even sign one at all) you are probably going to have a tough time getting your belongings back with out a big ransom payment.
If You Are Suspicious, Don’t Use Them
Reasonable moving estimates are the key to differentiating criminals posing as movers and legitimate long-distance movers. If you are using a real interstate moving company, they will most likely check out your items and ask questions about packing, planning, and delivery.
If the sales pitch from a mover seems too good to be true, then they are definitely leaving out some details. Always insist on getting every inch of information from them, including a final cost. Don’t sign anything unless you get all the information you need.
Be on the lookout for movers who quote your long-distance move by the cubic footage of truck space, and not by the estimated weight. This can be fine for smaller moves, but interstate moves based upon volume are illegal without a weigh factor. If you are quoted this way, report it to the FMCSA.
If you are taking place in a large move, then you should be having your belongings visually estimated. Over-the-phone bids are not going to be accurate if they can’t see what you are moving.
If you notice that the estimator is at your house for a small amount of time, that’s a bad sign. They should be taking their time to see every room in your home, including closets, and ask you important questions.
Always make sure you insist on signing a contract before the movers take any of your belongings. Moving scammers are known for adding on fees for packing or heavy items. Know exactly what you’re paying before making any moves.
More Warning Signs
Other things to look our for include upfront deposits, suspicious terms and conditions, and rights and responsibilities. Legitimate movers should never ask for any sort of deposit before loading the truck. If you are presented with vague agreements that don’t fully protect your belongings or payments, it’s probably a scam. Lastly, Federal Law requires that licensed movers give customers a packed titled “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move”. Make sure you receive this packet.