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Warning Signs of a Moving Scam

As if it isn’t exhausting enough constantly being on the lookout for scams in other areas of your life, you have to be aware that the potential is there to become a victim during your move. It is sad to think that people would target you when you are at a vulnerable state, but unfortunately they will. When you have your life packed onto a truck, you don’t want the thought to cross your mind that it won’t arrive at your new home.

Common Scams 

You might be wondering what scams you should be aware of. A few include:

  • Demanding More Money – The unexpected price increase is the most common scam. The mover offers a super low estimate, and then cites extraneous charges or reasons why the bill is significantly more.
  • Holding Goods Hostage – If the movers demand more money once arriving at your new place they may refuse to unload the truck until you pay the bill.
  • Operating Illegally – You may be surprised at how many movers claim they are legit when they’re not registered. You might be interested to learn that if they get caught while moving your goods and are shut down, everything you own on the truck will be taken into evidence.

Signs of a Scam 

  • Large Down Payment Request – If you are asked to provide a shockingly large down payment, this is the first sign of a scam. First, they may not even bother showing up for the move. Second, once you have already invested such a large amount of money it is highly unlikely that you won’t finish paying the increased bill at the end, because you have already paid so much. A legitimate required deposit will rarely exceed 20 percent.
  • Cash Only – If a mover only accepts cash, there is a good chance he doesn’t want a paper trail. Plus, he would know that if you used your credit card you would be able to dispute the charges.
  • Blanket Insurance – If you are offered the promise of blanket coverage, or if the mover offers a high coverage of insurance at a ridiculously low rate, it is likely that you will become a victim of insurance fraud. If something does happen to your belongings, don’t hold your breath waiting for them to be replaced.
  • Unprofessional Phone Etiquette – A service representative should clearly state the name of the company when answering the phone. If they simply say “hello” or “movers” it is highly unlikely that they are legitimate.
  • No In-home Inspection Available – If a mover refuses to give you an on-site quote or at least take a look at your stuff for a more accurate estimate, they are probably not legitimate. Reputable moving companies prefer to send a rep out to get a solid understanding of how large the job is.
  • Website Concerns – Not all movers have websites, but most do. If they do have a website, you should look for a physical address posted on it. If there is a post office box, or only the city is listed, you have to question it.
  • Unmarked Vehicles – From a marketing perspective, it only makes sense to put your business name or logo and contact information on your truck. So, if your mover shows up with a rental or blank truck, it should raise serious red flags.
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