Tips to Avoid These Three Common Moving Scams

May 19, 2016

The month of May is designated as National Moving Month. From college students moving out of their dorms to families relocating across the country, individuals should become “move savvy” to avoid any kind of issues with people they may hire to make the big move.

Better Business Bureau serving San Diego, Orange and Imperial Counties wants you to be aware of moving scams so you don’t fall into the hands of con artists trying to get money and personal information from you.

Phoning in an estimate. A moving business that doesn’t include an on-site inspection of the household items that need to be moved is giving you an unrealistic estimate – this sounds too good to be true. A family typically has more belongings than they think they have. The amount of personal belongings and furniture is important because the price to move is not only based on mileage, but on how much your belongings weigh and the amount of space they take up in the truck.

A requested deposit. Reliable moving companies will not demand any large upfront deposit or cash. Generally, you pay upon delivery. Keep in mind that if you pay an upfront deposit, you will not have control of when you’ll see your belongings again. When you pay the charge, always use a credit card that will help you fight fraudulent activity if you need to.

Who will pack? Your personal belongings are important to you, but they likely are not to the movers. Reputable movers are generally careful with your stuff, but some will carelessly throw your items in a box and close it. Also, if you opt to have the company pack for you, you will be paying the cost for boxes, packing materials and labor. Another thing to consider is that if you pack your own belongings, any damage that may result will have to be covered by you and not the mover.

How to Avoid these Moving Scams

  • Don’t fall for fake moving companies. Double check that the moving business has a legitimate address. You can check the business by looking at its BBB Business Review online.
  • Don’t give an upfront deposit. You should be wary when a mover presses for an upfront deposit. They are mostly likely to take your money and run.
  • Don’t sign a partial contract. You should make sure the contract is completely filled in before signing it.
  • Get insurance. A reputable moving company will offer additional insurance to make sure you have the right protection in the event that an accident occurs or there is damage to your belongings.

Click here to find a BBB Accredited moving company. If you have come across a scam and would like others to be aware go to BBB's Scam Tracker.