MOVING SCAMS (and how to avoid them)

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When it comes to moving, there can be a lot of things to worry about. However, being scammed by your moving company shouldn’t be one of them. Fraudulent companies may use one of two tactics to scam you, using your furniture and belongings as hostage. 

There are generally two ways that this type of scam occurs.

The Hostage Goods Scam

The hostage goods situation occurs when you have already been given a quoted price and your stuff has been moved. In general, moving services are paid for once your belongings reach the desired destination. However, in a hostage scam situation, once the driver reaches your new home, he/she asks for a payment that is an overly inflated version of the original price that was initially agreed upon. If the price being charged is significantly more than the quoted amount, you know that you are stuck in a swindle.

One of the biggest giveaways of these companies is that they give a lowball estimate value for the overall cost without actually inspecting the site, i.e. your furniture and belongings that need to be moved. Apart from that, the price which they usually quote also seems too good to be true.

If you do not have the amount they are asking for, they will not give you your belongings and will drive away with them.

Advance Deposit Scheme Scam

As the name implies, an advance deposit scheme scam means that you will be asked to pay upfront and not once your belongings reach the desired destination. In the end, these “movers” will disappear with your money and may not show up for service.

Protecting Oneself from Moving Scams

A few moves by fraudulent companies are hard to ignore, so be on the lookout for these red flags. Being alert about these signs might eventually save you from being scammed. Some of these red flags include:

  • Rather than conducting an onsite inspection of the things to be moved, according to which a price is usually quoted, the moving company gives you an estimated amount over the phone.
  • The website does not have an authentic local address.
  • The website does not have information about being licensed.
  • An advance in the form of cash, or a large deposit will be asked for before the moving services actually begin.
  • Refusal to prepare an inventory report or Bill of Lading.

A good idea is to conduct research about the moving companies in the market before hiring them. Feel free to ask all your questions and discuss all the technicalities and paperwork involved, including testimonials from previous clients, etc. Get an estimated amount or a quote from at least three companies before you make a choice. Someone offering a drastically lower price than the other two is most likely to be a scammer.

A number of websites like, and are helpful in checking out authentic movers and view the complaints (if any) registered against that company. 

We’d love to be on your list of potential movers, so give us a call today and let us help you safely move to your new home!




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