Moving Scams: How to Avoid Them and Protect Yourself

Moving Scams: How to Avoid Them and Protect Yourself 1

Protecting Your Move

Every year, millions of Americans move to new homes. While the majority of moves go smoothly, there are some unscrupulous individuals and companies that engage in fraudulent practices. These moving scams can result in lost or damaged belongings, unexpected fees, or even worse, identity theft. In order to protect yourself and ensure a stress-free move, it is important to be aware of the common scams and take the necessary precautions.

Researching Moving Companies

One of the first steps in avoiding moving scams is to thoroughly research moving companies before choosing one. Start by checking with the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed against the company. Look for online reviews and testimonials from previous customers. Additionally, make sure the company is licensed and insured. Legitimate moving companies will provide their credentials and be willing to answer any questions you may have.

Getting Estimates

When requesting estimates from moving companies, it is important to obtain them in writing. Reputable movers will conduct an in-person survey to assess the volume and weight of your belongings before providing an estimate. Be wary of companies that offer significantly lower prices than their competitors. This could be a red flag that they are trying to lure customers in with low prices, only to later increase the fees or hold your belongings hostage until you pay a higher price.

Avoiding Upfront Payments

Another common scam is requesting upfront payments or large deposits before the move. Legitimate moving companies typically require payment upon delivery of your belongings, not before. If a company insists on upfront payments or asks for a large deposit, it is best to find another mover. By avoiding upfront payments, you can protect yourself from fraudulent companies that may take your money and never show up on moving day.

Recognizing Red Flags

There are several red flags that can help you identify potential moving scams. Be cautious of companies that:

  • Have a generic company name or lack proper signage on their trucks
  • Ask for a large deposit or full payment upfront
  • Refuse to provide written estimates or contracts
  • Do not have a physical address or only provide a P.O. Box
  • If you encounter any of these warning signs, it is best to look for another moving company.

    Understanding Your Rights

    As a consumer, it is important to be familiar with your rights when hiring a moving company. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates interstate movers and provides important information and resources on their website. According to FMCSA regulations, moving companies must provide you with a copy of “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move,” a booklet that outlines the rights and responsibilities of both the customer and the moving company. By understanding your rights, you can better protect yourself and take action if necessary.

    Taking Inventory

    Prior to your move, it is essential to take inventory of your belongings. This will not only help you keep track of your items, but it can also serve as evidence in the event of lost or damaged property. Take photos or videos of your belongings, noting any existing damage. Keep a detailed list of valuable items, including their estimated value. By documenting your belongings, you will have peace of mind and evidence in case you need to file a claim.

    Using Certified Movers

    To further protect yourself, consider using certified movers. The American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA) offers a ProMover certification program for moving companies that meet specific industry standards. ProMover certified movers are held to a higher level of accountability and professionalism. By choosing a ProMover, you can have confidence in the quality of service you will receive and minimize the risk of falling victim to a moving scam.


    While moving scams can be distressing, taking the necessary precautions and being aware of the red flags can help you avoid becoming a victim. By researching moving companies, obtaining written estimates, avoiding upfront payments, and understanding your rights, you can protect yourself and ensure a smooth and secure move. Remember to always trust your instincts and choose a moving company that is reputable and trustworthy. To further enhance your knowledge on the subject, we recommend visiting this external resource. You’ll find supplementary information and new perspectives that will enrich your understanding. moving company, give it a look!

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