Moving can be stressful enough without having to worry about being scammed by a moving company. Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous movers out there who prey on people who are in the midst of moving.
To protect yourself from being scammed, it's important to be aware of the red flags. Here are a few things to watch out for:
The mover or broker doesn't perform an on-site inspection of your household items and gives an estimate over the telephone or online. A legitimate moving company will always come to your home to inspect your belongings and give you an accurate estimate.
The mover or broker doesn't provide a written estimate or says they will determine the cost after loading. A written estimate is essential to protect yourself from hidden charges.
The moving company demands cash or a large deposit before the move. Legitimate moving companies will accept credit cards or checks.
The mover asks you to sign blank documents. Never sign blank documents. This could give the mover the opportunity to add hidden charges after the move.
The mover or broker doesn't provide you with a copy of the Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move booklet and a copy of FMCSA's Ready to Move brochure. These booklets contain important information about your rights and responsibilities as a mover.
The company's website has no local address and no information about their registration or insurance. A legitimate moving company will have a physical address and be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
The mover claims all goods are covered by their insurance. This is not always true. Make sure you understand the terms of the mover's insurance before you sign any contracts.
On moving day, a rental truck arrives rather than a company-owned or marked fleet truck. This is a red flag that the mover may not be legitimate.
The mover claims that you have more belongings than estimated. This could be an attempt to charge you more money.
If you see any of these red flags, it's best to walk away from the moving company and find a more reputable one. You can check the FMCSA's website to see if the company is registered and insured. You can also read reviews of the company online.
For more information, go to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website. Download our Moving Guide.