How to Avoid Scams When Moving

How to Avoid Scams When Moving

Are you ready to make the big move? Whether you’re moving across town or over state lines, hiring a trustworthy moving company is a big decision. If you hire a dishonest mover, your items could end up in the wrong hands. Avoid being scammed during your move by following these tips.

Look for a License

There are many moving companies out there who appear reputable. However, just because they have two movers and a truck doesn’t mean they’re licensed to drive your stuff. Movers who travel across state lines must obtain a United States Department of Transportation number. The company must provide all contact information and have proof of insurance and bonding in order to receive a USDOT number. Check the USDOT website for a list of registered interstate moving companies. If you are moving within the state, verify the mover is legitimate, licensed and insured. You can also search the non-profit Better Business Bureau (BBB) for online reviews and complaints about a company.

Get an Estimate

Any reputable mover knows better than to give you an estimate without seeing your stuff. It’s a red flag if a company gives you a quick quote without visiting your home first. A proper mover will come to your home for a visual inspection of your items. He or she should ask specific questions about the items you are moving. A mover’s quote is based on the mileage and the estimated weight of your belongings.

Don’t Pay Until After the Move

Scammers love easy money and it’s very easy for them to convince you to pay upfront. Decline an offer if the mover requires a deposit or any other form of payment first. In unfortunate situations, scammers have held a client’s belongings for ransom until the “full-payment” was made. A legitimate moving company will only ask for payment once the job is complete. Avoid using cash and pay only with a debit or credit card in the event of fraudulent activity.

Required Reading

Movers are required by federal law to provide you with a pamphlet titled “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.” This is generally handed out during the planning process of the move (not after you’ve packed). Select a different mover if you are declined a copy.

Do your homework and don’t get scammed during your move! It will take a lot of work, but hiring the right moving company will mean a better transition for you and your family into your new home.

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