How Do I Avoid Moving Scams?
Red Flags to Look Out for and How to Protect Yourself
If you’ve ever moved, then you know first-hand how stressful of an experience it can be. From finding your new place and packing, to making all the necessary arrangements and unloading the moving truck, there is no doubt moving can be a headache.
While no move can be stress-free, by doing some research and hiring a reputable moving company, you can get some piece of mind. Here are some things to look out for to make sure you’re not falling victim to common moving scams.
Two Common Moving Scams
1. Bait & Switch Tactics
If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Movers may provide you with a surprisingly low estimate, but once they’ve loaded everything up they may double or even triple charges with no cause. They may even refuse to release your possessions until you’ve agreed to pay the new price. To avoid this scam, be sure to get a guaranteed quote in writing beforehand.
2. Mystery Charges
Watch out for the addition of new clauses without any written notice after you’ve already been given your estimate or signed your contract. Any time a clause is amended that could cause additional unforeseen charges, you’re not dealing with a reputable moving company.
The last thing you want during your move is to discover the moving company you trusted with your precious belongings is actually a scam. Here are a few simple but critical precautions you can take to vet your potential movers.
Three Precautions You Can Take
1. Do Your Research
It should go without saying, but when it comes to hiring movers, you should do your research. Companies with bad review, few reviews, or no reviews are a nonstarter. Make sure the company you hire has plenty of positive reviews, as well as a searchable physical address.
2. Never Sign an Incomplete Contract
While it can be tedious to review, it’s important to make sure your mover contract is completely filled out. It should include:
- A guaranteed price
- Delivery date
- Supplies you will provide
- A list of what’s to be moved
It should also state the terms of any additional charges. If you have any lingering questions about your contract, your moving company should be able to fully address them ahead of time. If they’re reluctant to answer your questions or leave you unsatisfactory answers, you should be ready to find an alternative.
3. Avoid Paying in Cash
While cash is fine for tipping your movers, we don’t recommend paying for your move in cash. Paying in cash means you’ll have no record of the transaction, which could give scammers an opportunity to disappear with your money – and your possessions – without a trace. The more traceable, the better!
Moving is stressful enough without the added worry of whether or not you can really trust your moving company. But by doing your research, knowing what red flags to look out for, and trusting your instincts, your move should go off without a hitch.