If you are reading this, then chances are you are planning for an upcoming move! But between the chaos of packing, scheduling, or organizing your belongings, the last thing on your mind is moving scams.With the rise of online shopping, and the ability to order moving services from the comfort of your laptop computer. This poses the question, how do we avoid moving scams in the first place? To avoid a moving scam begin by identifying what techniques are most commonly used by scammers.
One of the most dangerous moving scams is “overnight” moving company
The first and most dangerous scam is the “overnight” moving company. This moving scam works by hosting a website that seems legitimate, offering moving services at amazingly low prices. Innocent customers are often promised extremely affordable rates in-exchange for an over-the-phone estimate fee. Once the fee is paid, the moving company never shows up for the work. The best indicator of whether a moving company is fraudulent is to check and see if their company address, and insurance information is missing. If you find this information missing, then save yourself the money and grief, and opt-in for a more reputable company!
Be aware of full payment in advance
Another common moving scam to avoid is one where a website asks for the full payment in advance of doing any work. Fraudulent companies may often claim that they need to accept payment in-full because there moving trucks are located a long distance away from your residence. They may even stress that accepting a full payment shows that you are a serious customer. In reality, legitimate moving companies have a fleet of trucks scattered around the city they work in. Typically they don’t operate their fleet far from the customers they service. If you ever hear a company making absurd excuses and pressuring you for a large upfront payment prior to doing any work, simply hang up the phone and save yourself from a potential scam.
Get your quote in writing
Last but not least, get your quote and contract in writing. Often times scam-companies don’t offer consistent quotes over the phone. If you call multiple times, you may even get different representatives quoting very different prices. In this case, it is best to ask for the name of the company representative you are speaking with, and keep a record of any quotes they make.
Additionally, scammers may even hold onto your belongings, and refuse to unload them from their truck unless you pay several hidden fees. This is why it is important to get clarity on what you want. Look for a company that is transparent and willing to give you a written quote and contract. For example, get the details of your move in writing to avoid the outlandish fees. Far too many customers have had their belongings withheld from them unless they forked over an additional hidden $100 stairs fee, or $50 narrow hallway fee, etc. Ultimately, trust your gut and look for the signs. Chances are if it feels like a scam, it likely is!