Protect Your Move by Avoiding Moving Scams
We created this guide to clue you in on the common moving scams to look out for before and during your move. With so much to handle when planning a move, it’s easy to fall for schemes designed by dishonest individuals. You don’t have to pay more than you should, nor should you worry about damage to your belongings. We’ll look at the major red flags to look out for and how to protect yourself.
Types of Moving Scams
There are various ways you may get scammed during your move. Below are some of the scams to familiarize yourself with before moving.
Over the Phone Estimates
Moving costs differ from one location to the next and are usually determined by factors such as the type and weight of your items. To get an accurate estimate, a moving company will send an estimator to do an in-home estimate to inspect all the things you’re moving. So, a company that skips on-site inspection and goes ahead with an estimated price on the contract is probably trying to scam you.
Huge Cash Deposit Requirements
It’s not uncommon for a moving company to ask you to put down a deposit before the work begins. However, it shouldn’t always be in cash, and amounts shouldn’t be over the top. You’re better off looking elsewhere if a company doesn’t accept credit cards and requests large cash or direct deposit.
Many Additional Fees
While you can’t rule out extra fees due to unseen challenges during a move, some companies will try to tack on additional fees when the move is complete. Such companies may withhold your belongings until you pay these fees. Often, such companies are reluctant to give you a list of the potential additional charges.
Handshake or Incomplete Contract
A company that quickly asks you to sign a blank contract or close the deal with a handshake is probably illegitimate. By signing a misleading contract, you might suffer costs that weren’t initially discussed.
Charging by Cubic Feet
Most reputable moving companies will charge customers based on the weight of their shipment. Think twice about hiring a company that gives an estimate based on cubic feet.
How to Avoid Moving Scams
Here are some tips on how to avoid getting scammed in your upcoming move:
- Check the FMCSA site to determine if they’re authorized for operation and the BBB to check the company’s standing.
- Insist on an on-site estimate. Also, get several estimates before settling for one company.
- Check whether the company has a physical address.
- Ensure all costs, including possible extra costs, and all your items are documented.
- Check reviews and read them – both positive and negative.
- Ask about the company’s claim policy to determine how it handles and processes claims.
- Avoid moving companies that only accept cash payments.