With the development of internet and other communication technology, the world seems a bit smaller by the day. So, it’s quite natural for people to want to explore it more and more. In addition to this, companies tend to hire people from all over the country rather than just from the cities which they operate in. This is why moving is a growing industry. Naturally, as it is with any industry on the rise, there are many who would take advantage. In the moving world, there are fraudulent movers which will try to take advantage of you with their moving scams.
What are moving scams?
These are tricks done by fake moving companies where they pose as reliable movers and offer their “moving services” to clients. If you hire them, you may end up paying insane amounts of money to get your things back or losing your things altogether. So, if you want to avoid this, you should only hire reputable movers in America.
How to recognize them?
Unfortunately, telling someone not to hire fraudulent movers is much easier than doing it. Like all tricksters, the more they do their tricks, the better they get at them. So, what is a consumer such as yourself to do? How can you know true from false movers? Well, don’t worry! We’ve prepared a guide which will tell you whether your movers are planning to scam you and rip you off.
The first thing you’ll need to do to check whether your movers are into moving scams is to visit their offices. All moving companies should have an office in the town in which they’re conducting business. Check out these facilities to get your first clue in case you’re being a victim of moving fraud. Make sure you don’t announce your visit. Just show up one day during their business hours. For most moving companies, you can find their contact information on their website. In case you can’t, don’t hire those movers. In the case that you are not in the area of the mover you are researching, you can still verify their location. We have had potential customers reach out to other businesses and organizations in our area to make sure that our office was legitimate. Don’t be afraid to make that call.
If they’re not where your movers said they’d be, this is a major red flag! Apart from this, the offices of a moving company should look like offices, not a house, apartment or storage units. Frauds usually tend to run more than one con at the time, so their office won’t look like a normal moving company. If you find anything other than moving documentation and papers, you should be careful.
Talk to the rep
Another good way to check if your chosen movers are into moving scams is to talk to some of the employees. The most secure way would be to talk to as many workers as you can, but in most cases, you’ll need to settle for the representative. Feel free to ask him/her as many questions as you can about your move.
Look for reviews
The proliferation of communication we mentioned at the beginning of this article brought a lot of good into the moving industry. You can use online reviews to learn whether you’re a victim of moving scams. Just look for companies with good reviews at the start of your moving process. Be sure not to just look at the most recent reviews either. A legitimate moving company will have a history of providing services. Since many of the fraudulent moving companies pop-up and disappear quickly they don’t tend to have much history.
Apart from this, you can rely on the good old word of mouth. Ask your friends and colleagues for recommendations. Unfortunately, if you’re moving far away, most of your friends’ suggestions won’t be useful, so you’ll need to rely on online reviews. At Executive Auto Shippers, we’re proud of the effect we’ve had on our customers and you can look for their reviews of our services on our website.
Don’t offer many services
Fraudulent movers tend to know only about limited moving services. Sure, they’ll say they do house packing or cleaning, but they usually won’t have the details. So, checking which services your movers should offer is another awesome way to see if the company you choose is a reliable moving company. Ask for services other than moving.
With real moving companies, you can ask for a wide range of services designed to help with your move. From deciding to let professionals clean your house after you move in and getting additional help with packing, all the way to shipping your car across the country, there are numerous things your reliable movers can do for you.
More moving scam red flags
Apart from these main ways to find out if your movers are dishonest, there are also details you can notice during the moving process which can give you a heads up. They are:
- Asking for a lot of money up front – this really is moving scams 101. Don’t pay for your services up front when you can pay after the job is done.
- Blank contracts – don’t sign anything you haven’t read and don’t sign blank documents. If your movers offer you a blank contract, thank them and hire a different moving company.
- Changing their name a lot – sometimes movers change their name and this is nothing to be worried about. However, if a moving company changes their name 5-10 times a year, you should be very careful.
- Something feels off – do not underestimate your instincts! If something doesn’t feel right with your movers, don’t hesitate to hire a different company. Movers are there to help you have a stress-free relocation, not to be the cause of your stress.
If you think your movers are scammers
Now, what if you’ve hired your movers but you suddenly realize they’re trying to scam you? First, make sure you contact the local authorities and report what you think is going on. Next, tell your movers you don’t need their services after all. Finally, call some of the other moving companies you’ve been considering for your relocation.
In these cases, it’s good to learn how to pack your belongings efficiently so if your movers turn out to be less honest than you thought they’d be, you can always do the job yourself while waiting on honest movers to show up and transport all your things. No use in wasting time on your moving day!