5 ways to avoid common moving scams

Fraud alert

So, you are planning on moving. And soon. Well, as you already might know – moving isn’t as easy as it sounds. That is why you need to start preparing early on. Another important aspect is staying safe, of course. That is why you need to stay away and avoid common moving scams. And here is how!

When you are planning a relocation, and trying to find a way to move on a budget you already feel a lot of stress and tension. Especially when you clean, downsize, organize, and pack up your home. In most cases. The last thing you need is a moving company that tries to scam you! Although most companies are honest, it is important to watch out for moving scams, so you don’t get fooled on moving day.  To help you make smart moving decisionshere’s a list of 5 common moving scams and ways to avoid them:

      1.The Bait and Switch

Many people were victims of this moving fraud. With the bait and switch, the company will offer you an unreal low price estimate. The price seems so good that you will want to hire them to complete your relocation. That is the bait. But, at the end of your move, the final price will have nothing to do with the initial estimate you received. And this is the switch. Fraudulent movers often use this tactical move to hook customers with promises that they will not keep.

 Ways to avoid this scam

When choosing a moving company, you need to ask all the proper questions. Inquire about any itemized fees that may be included in your relocation costs. If you do it, you will ensure that you are dealing with an honest company who that will inform you about all the expected costs. You should check the company’s BBB rating, ask for recommendations, and read reviews before making any final decisions.

A present - as a way of explaining that a deal that seems too god to be true is probably a common moving scam.
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. And it is the easiest way to recognize and avoid common moving scams.

      2. Large deposit – avoid common moving scams by saying no to it!

Reputable moving companies will not demand cash or large deposits in advance. In most cases, you will only need to pay for the moving truck and services after your belongings are delivering into your new home. So, if a mover tells you that you have to pay a large deposit for their services, that’s probably a sign of a scam.
You should know that during the moving season, respectable movers could demand a deposit to reserve the moving date. But, the price should not exceed 10%-15% of the final moving price.

Ways to avoid this scam

You should research all companies business practices. An honest company will be forthright with their business dealings if you suspect that the company is not providing all the proper information. You can also talk with your real estate agent. They can help you find a reliable moving company that won’t ask for a deposit or a company that you feel safe paying. Also. they can give you advice on how to avoid common moving mistakes.

A man making faces
Find the ways to avoid common moving scams

    3. Holding goods hostage

The worst case scenario when dealing with dishonest movers is to have your goods held hostage. This means that the company load all your goods onto their trucks and refuse to unload or move the items. They demand an extra sum of money, which is more than previously quoted. And when you pay it, you will have your belongings back. Things could get even worse if some or most of your goods are expensive or valuable items. In that case, movers could disappear without a trace, and you will never see your prized possessions anymore.

Ways to avoid common moving scams such as these

Prevention is the best protection, of course. Do your mover’s research well, and daylight robberies should never happen. If your goods held hostage or stolen, the first step is to notify the police. Then, contact the U.S. Department of Transportation on their hotline, to lodge a complaint directly or use their website to file a Household Goods Consumer Complaint.

     4. Incomplete or blank documents

While getting ready to move house, sometimes things get little chaotic. Especially with the arrival of Moving day. To providing inaccurate estimates, some scammers will ask you to sign a blank contract. With claiming that they’re busy now but that they’ll fill in the empty spaces later. They will ask you to take their word that they’ll fill in the contract with the correct information. The major problem here is that you will have no control over what so ever. And, with your signature already at the bottom, it means that you have read and agreed to the clauses when, in reality, you have no idea what’s happening.

In another case, the customers don’t have time to read all the documentation. Because there are so many important things to do and think. Dishonest movers know this fact well and use it to their advantage.

Ways to avoid this scam

No circumstances can make you sign incomplete or blank documents no matter how trustworthy your mover looks. Request your moving contract in advance and read it carefully. Read the fine print as well. You should understand well all conditions before you decide to sign it. Ask for clarifications if you fail to understand certain conditions or have trouble figuring out how some prices were forming.

You should have everything in writing. From your moving contract, estimate, to the extra fees and your inventory sheet. Also, that includes some more documents, that go with the move. Each document has to be complete, properly signed and stamped. Pay special attention to the extra services and their rates. Make sure you understand what you’re paying for. Review your detailed inventory sheet with care and make sure all your belongings are listed there. Be aware that you won’t be able to file a claim for a lost item. Because in the first place that item was not present in the inventory checklist.

People signing a contract and trying to avoid common moving scams.
Pay attention to what you are signing

   5. Operating illegally

Some companies will try to pass themselves off as legitimate when they are actually unregistered and operating illegally. While these companies may not scam you directly, they are still not a legitimate business. Should their operation be shut down in the middle of your move, your belongings may be taken and held as evidence. There is no guarantee that your belongings would ever make it to your new home at all.

Ways to avoid this scam

The company should provide you with their USDOT number. Check the FMCSA website to find out if the registration is still active.

Use the tips on this blog to recognize and avoid common moving scams. When you’re ready to begin your next move, get in touch with the local companies or with the Best Cross Country Movers, to request professional, reliable, and beneficial moving services. This way, you will be safe and your items sound!

Moving is a serious task to take on. But, it is also a task you can and will have to take on. And when the time comes – and if you take every precautionary measure needed  -you will move with a smile on your face!

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