Top 5 Moving Scams You Need To Avoid Today
Choosing a good moving company is something that several people tend to rush through, which leads to many moving scams. Even though the process of transitioning to a new property should always be planned in detail, it seems to be one factor that consumers tend to ignore as they want it done fast.
Many realize later that they’ve either paid more than they should have or that they’ve outright fallen for traps or Craigslist mover scams. Avoiding this nasty situation comes down to some diligence during your initial research, as well as a bit of common sense. Let’s see.
There are many moving company scams to be aware of, as we are about to find out. Choosing the right business will save you a lot of pain on moving day, but knowledge is power.
You can make sure your moving isn’t a scam by reading more about what you should look out for, but in the meantime, let’s take a look at some of the most popular scams perpetrated by removal companies.
1. Bait and Switch
The “bait and switch” is one of the oldest scams out there, and it’s not exclusive to the moving market – but it’s quite popular in this sector. It refers to a situation where you believe you’ve agreed upon a specific price, only to realize that you have to pay a lot more after the deed is done. Either that or the service will be significantly subpar to what you expected.
In any case, the company typically covers themselves through obscure clauses in their contract. There’s a reason “always read the fine print” is such a cliché when people talk about avoiding scams of all types – and the moving scams are not an exception. Make sure that the contract you’re signing doesn’t open you up to any surprise fees.
2. Signing a Contract Before an Estimate
On the note of contracts, another popular moving scam to watch out for are companies that try to get you to commit to their services before actually giving you an estimate.
This is typically executed by posting flashy offers that drive your attention to a certain price – when in reality, the contract you’re signing says that the company is open to adjusting their price any way they see fit.
This is similar to the bait and switch scam we described above but is usually more damaging because some of these openly worded contracts can put a lot of financial liability on you. The moving scams hit hard, that’s for sure.
3. Craigslist Mover Scams: Burglary Scouting
Sometimes the people you’re working with are not even movers at all. A popular tactic among some burglars is to pose as many businesses that have an excuse to walk around your home – moving companies, security services, and so on – so they can have a good look around the premises. It is the case of many Craigslist mover scams.
Of course, a good mover will need to see the inventory they’ll be transporting beforehand to plan accordingly. But pay attention to where exactly they’re going inside the house and what they’re looking at. Someone “accidentally” entering the wrong room a couple of times might be a red flag – as well as if they start opening cupboards and things that have nothing to do with the moving process in the first place.
Many of these burglars rely on the idea of making you feel uncomfortable about confronting them. This is your home and your safety, so you should have absolutely no qualms about offending someone if they’re acting sketchy.
Here is a full list of Craigslist scams.
4. Incorrect License or Insurance
People rarely pay attention to the licensing and insurance situation of the moving companies they hire. And that can be a big mistake in pretty much every case except when working with a proven service provider with a solid track record.
Less scrupulous companies may skip certain types of insurance, hoping that they’ll just never need it. And when an accident occurs, they will do some financial/legal trickery to get themselves off the hook or just dissolve the company if things are terrible.
You’ll be left with no recourse for your losses and can potentially be set back years in your life, depending on what you’ve lost.
Suing moving companies is a terrible process too, so better safe than sorry.
5. Moving Company Scams Commonality: Upfront Payments
Never pay upfront! Even if it’s a minor deposit, that’s something you should never have to deal with when working with a good moving company. In fact, being asked to cover an initial deposit is a major red flag and should probably make you turn around and walk away immediately. It is one of the most common moving company scams out there.
There are practically no exceptions to this. Always question why a company is asking you for a deposit in the first place. Or better yet, simply stop dealing with them once this has been brought up. Your time is better spent looking for another service provider who is not actually trying to scam you.
Unfortunately, you have to deal with all of that on top of the moving process’s chaos. That’s just the reality of the situation nowadays. It’s better to spend a few extra hours and ensure that you’re working with the right service provider, rather than end up sorry when you’re forced to pay significantly more than you expected or even lose some of your belongings. Be vigilant and focused until the deed is done!
How To Report Moving Scams
Warn your friends and family about these moving scams by sharing the article on social media. Alternatively, you can officially report criminals and any other suspicious activities to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) using the link below:
How To Protect Yourself More
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Also, educate yourself with some other moving fraud-related articles under this paragraph, so that you know how to stay safe online. Feel free to use the comments section below to expose other moving scammers.