How to avoid common moving scams

If you need to move, then you should hire reliable Beverly Hills movers. However, there are many moving companies or “moving scam artists” that will either steal your money or items. For this reason, it is very important to protect your belongings. In order to avoid becoming a victim of one moving scam, you should familiarize yourself with the moving scams. Then, you will know how to avoid common moving scams. Protect your money, items, and health by hiring reliable movers. 

Low Estimate 

When you are looking for a moving company, you have to contact at least three companies to ask for estimates. After movers finish with their work, they should provide estimates. Now it is time to compare moving quotes. It is normal to expect a difference in moving quotes. However, if one is drastically low than the other two, it is probably a moving scam. Most fraudulent moving companies offer low estimates to attract customers. After you sign the contract, give money, they can either never show up for the pickup or they do but they disappear with your items. Sometime, this estimate will drastically increase due to hidden costs. 

round red and white Trust signage
You should be able to trust your movers

Avoid common moving scams – False references 

It is important to check references and read moving reviews of your potential moving company. However, fraudulent moving companies can make fake references and have someone to write false moving reviews. For this reason, you should check their credentials on the relevant websites. Those are the following. 

  • Federal Moving Carrier Safety Association or the FMSCA 
  • The Better Business Bureau or the BBB 
  • American Moving and Storage Association  

In addition to this, check moving reviews on Yelp or similar websites. If you see that one moving company has only highly positive reviews, those are probably fake.  

When they are asking for a deposit 

Most reliable moving companies never ask for a moving deposit. On the other hand, most fraudulent moving companies as for a considerable up-front payment. In addition to this, fraudulent movers always promise exceptional conditions and the best moving services. You make all the arrangements, but you should pay a large deposit beforehand. Once you hand the money, movers disappear. For this reason, do not agree on an exuberant deposit. If movers do ask for a deposit as sometimes it can happen, do not pay more than 20 % of the estimated final costs upfront. Furthermore, ask for a written agreement for a refundable deposit. It is always better to search longer for a reliable Glendale moving company than to waste time on making agreements.  

person counting dollar banknotes
Fraudulent movers will ask for more money

Avoid common moving scams – Non-Professional Labor and Equipment 

Not all moving scams are associated with taking more money than necessary and stealing your items. Some moving companies have horrible equipment and non-professional movers. This also counts as a moving scam since your items will probably get damaged or lost. In addition to this, some movers can pose as “moving broker”. You sign a contract with a reliable moving company, but your contract is sold to another company. Usually, this company has no moving experience and their services are below average. 

Fine print 

It is difficult to understand moving terminology if you have not moved before. For this reason, many people sign the moving contract even if they do not understand everything listed there. Do not do this. Make sure to understand everything written in your moving contract. Ask movers for an explanation. If they try to avoid answering, then do not sign it. In addition to this, sometimes movers can write that the price is subject to change. Do not sign this type of moving contract. Movers can invent some services and ask for more money. The bottom line is you need to make sure that all conditions and services are properly listed and described. In addition to this, everything should be stated on your Bill of Landing. Never sign a contract that is either incomplete or blank. 

Avoid common moving scams – additional fees 

As mentioned, fraudulent moving companies usually add extra fees to your moving costs. This can happen if you sign an incomplete or blank moving contract. In addition to this, movers can add extra fees if you opt for a non-binding moving estimate. The best way to avoid this moving scam is by reading your moving contract. Check your Bill of Landing. Movers should list all the services used in your Bill of Landing. Again, do not sign if you see some services that you have not agreed to. Apart from this, you should receive a copy of your Bill of Landing. You can use it as proof if necessary. 

man writing on paper
Make sure to read your moving contract carefully before sign it

Lost or Damaged items 

Even reliable movers can lose or damage your items. However, they will pay for the damage while fraudulent movers will not. Most fraudulent movers will steal your expensive items. For this reason, you should bring your jewelry with you. Do not leave it in your dresser. In addition to this, do not leave money in your piggy bank, but rather take it with you. Before the move, take pictures of your items, at least the most valuable ones, such as electronics. In addition to this, make sure to get insurance. After delivery, check your items. See if something went missing or it got damaged. You should immediately report any missing or damaged items.  

Holding your items hostage 

Holding your items hostage is the last common moving scam to avoid. Movers will refuse to return your items until you pay more money. They will probably invent some ridiculous reason for why you should pay more money. Apart from this, movers might just disappear with your items. To avoid this unpleasant scenario and all the others on this list, find reliable movers. You might need to make an effort and invest your time in finding the best movers, but it will pay off in the end. 

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