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Effective Ways to Avoid Getting Scammed

In markets that are constantly thriving, there’s always a huge possibility that some people will try to take advantage of others. And while it pains us to admit this, the truth is that the moving industry is also flocked by a lot of scammers and rogue movers. Innocent customers can get scammed into paying huge upfront payments only to get ditched in the end. There are also those who are charged way more than the normal price.

But don’t you worry because there’s a way for you to avoid getting scammed. The key to avoiding rogue movers is by staying informed.

Information is your best defence against getting scammed. If you know the tricks and the telltale signs, you can easily tell the bad companies from the good ones.

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You Better Watch Out for these

And so, here are some of the tell-tale signs of scammers:

  • They refuse to send onsite estimators and insist on doing phone estimates
  • They will ask you for a huge down payment prior to the actual move
  • The only payment method they have is cash. No credit cards, checks, etc.
  • They don’t own their moving trucks. They just rent unmarked trucks.
  • The moving crew doesn’t appear professional, and are not in uniform
  • They have incomplete licenses and accreditation, or if they refuse to show them to you
  • They don’t have a published and easily accessible tariff which breaks down their services and charges
  • They will come up with all sorts of hidden charges before, during, or after the move
  • They have a low score with the Better Business Bureau, and have bad feedback with previous customers

Avoid Getting Scammed by Rogue Movers

Now that you know the things that you need to avoid here are a few fool-proof ways to avoid getting scammed:

  1. Find good quality quotes – The first thing that you need to do is find several companies and ask each one for a quotation. You have to get at least three different quotes so that you can compare them with each other. Think of it like when you’re shopping for an appliance, you have to know your options first.
  2. Request for an onsite visit – A lot of scammers will insist on giving over-the-phone estimates because this can be very inaccurate. What you should do instead is to ask for a more precise measurement and computation which can only be done through an onsite visit. This is where the company sends a representative to survey your house and belongings in order to give a much accurate calculation of the costs.
  3. Do a thorough background check on the company – When it comes to avoiding scammers, research is your best friend. Don’t just trust what the company is saying. Do your own research first so that you can verify if that company is indeed legitimate and properly licensed. You should look for license numbers issued by the DOT, together with the company’s motor carrier number.
  4. Find out their affiliations – Legitimate companies are accredited by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association or FMCSA. A ProMover sticker or logo issued by the American Moving and Storage Association or AMSA.
  5. Check with the BBB – The Better Business Bureau is one of the best safeguards for consumer welfare. They give out scores to companies based on specific criteria, as well as on customer feedback. Make sure that the company you’re eyeing has a good standing with the BBB and have no pending or unresolved complaints.
  6. The price says a lot – If a price is too good to be true, then it’s probably a hoax. Additionally, if the price is way too high, then of course you should be worried as well. If you followed our advice of getting several quotes first, then you should be able to gauge an average price for your requirements.
  7. Do not sign anything you haven’t reviewed – Read all documents carefully and if you have any questions, don’t be afraid to ask. Don’t affix your signature to blank pieces of paper, or on documents that you haven’t gone over.

There are a lot of scam movers out there but there are also plenty of legitimate and honest to goodness companies too. Your task now is to make sure that you are well-informed and highly capable to make the distinction between them.

Written By

Expert Moving Advisor

Ariane is a proficient moving advisor. She has experience in corporate, individual and special relocations, and is well-versed in coordinating moves, packing tips and shipment estimations.
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