More than 35 million people are predicted to move in 2018. A jaw-dropping number of those who are relocating will find themselves victims of moving scams, with thousands of dollars in losses. Below you’ll find tips to help you avoid being taken for prey by fraudulent moving companies.
Moving scams range from the moving company flat out taking off with the load, never to be seen again to holding the customer’s belongings hostage until a ransom is paid. Others trump up fictional charges that supposedly occurred unexpectedly and refuse to let go of the goods until the customer pays additional fees.
The Moving Scam Epidemic
It’s important to note why the moving scam problem is so out of hand that it is being called an epidemic by experts in the field. First and foremost is the red-tape issue. Crimes occurring within one particular state are within the state’s jurisdiction while a crime that goes across state lines is in the hands of the federal government. The fact of the matter is that neither have the resources delegated to investigate and prosecute properly. Therefore, the majority of the moving scam artists get by with their criminal deeds. And...they are fully aware of that.
How Can You Avoid Moving Scams?
Here are some suggestions to heed when choosing a moving company:
- Screen companies thoroughly. Don’t trust what a single company says about themselves on their site. Many unsuspecting victims have just taken a company at its word that they are on the up-and-up. Using a third party site that offers unbiased screening is always wise.
- Be sure the moving company is licensed and bonded. It takes time to validate credentials but it is well worth the trouble. Most victims of moving scams admit that they did not verify credentials. If you don’t have the time to fully validate the licenses of a company, a third party moving company will do that for you. They partner with moving companies and verify each moving company’s credentials since their reputation is at stake should they recommend a fraudulent one.
- Check out the moving company’s reviews. What other customers say about a company goes a long way. It isn’t unheard of for moving companies to have fake reviews written for their site, so again, a third party moving service is your best bet.
- Watch for signs of integrity or the lack of it. Being courteous, friendly, reliable, respectful and professional are traits that the staff of a great moving company should possess. Honest pricing is a good sign too. Companies with nothing to hide will have no problem being transparent with their customers. They will answer all questions to the best of their ability and understand your concerns rather than being aggravated by them.
Make You Move a Great One
Moving is exciting. Adventures and new beginnings await. It can be stressful too and for some, it can be a total nightmare. Avoid getting caught off guard in a moving scam by taking the tips above to heart so your next move can be a great one.