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How to Spot a Moving Company Scam

How to Spot a Moving Company Scam

Researching a moving company that’s best suited for you and your household items can be stressful enough, without the added worry of wondering whether or not your professional movers are legitimate or not hanging around in the back of your mind. As you scroll through Google search after Google search, you might get bombarded with moving company offers that try to entice you with the lowest prices, but who maybe come up short in both positive reviews and quality of service. 


Beyond low-quality companies who don’t have your best interests in mind, complete moving scams are something to recognize and steer clear of when it comes to your move. After all, it’s pretty hard to have a good moving experience if you’re robbed of your money and your items. So how do you stay safe and avoid moving company scams? We’ve got everything you need to look for to keep yourself and your things safe and moved securely. 


Signs of a Moving Scam

Three big signs indicate an even seemingly reputable moving company is a scam or is fraudulent. Here are some of the biggest red flags to recognize and look out for in your moving company search. 


  • Not Having the Right Licenses

One of the most glaring signs of a moving company being a scam is if they’re lacking licensure from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This is a particular red flag because this federal agency is in charge of tracking and regulating the trucking industry – including moving trucks.  If your potential movers don’t have this license, they’re most likely fraudulent. 


The best way to check your potential professional moving company’s license is by checking their US Department of Transportation (USDOT) number, which should be listed on their website or provided to you. You can then use this number to check them on the FMCSA’s website and learn more about the company. If the movers claim to not even have a USDOT or won’t provide one to you, get out of there – and fast!


  • Overcharging Customers

If the reviews of the company you’re seeking out mention hidden fees or paying more money in the end than what they initially agreed to, all signs may point to this company being a scam. Don’t mix up these sorts of last-minute price raises with legitimate charges (i.e regarding the length or increased overall weight of your move). Excessive and random price increases and hidden fees with no backing are huge red flags that point toward fraud. 


Though customer reviews or website reviews aren’t always reliable, make sure to read through your company’s reviews on multiple different sites thoroughly, and make sure to crosscheck. Look through Yelp, Google, Consumer Affairs, and third-party sites; don’t necessarily believe the reviews the company has listed on their own, as they’re most likely highly moderated and edited. 


When you get a moving estimate, also look out for how your company calculates your prices and estimates. If it’s based on anything other than weight, run for the hills!


  • Asking You to Sign a Contract Before an Estimate

Our last huge sign of a moving scam is asking you to sign a contract and commit to their services and prices before conducting an in-home moving estimate. It’s also a huge red flag if your company attempts to charge you for an on-site estimate. 


Legitimate moving companies won’t ask you to sign anything or pay upfront before they conduct an estimate and give you an accurate assessment as to the total estimated weight of your move. If your potential movers skip this and want payment or for you to sign a contract directly after giving you an instant quote, odds are, they’re a scam. 


Though many moving companies will give you a preliminary moving estimate over the phone, legitimate ones will then also send a representative to your home to properly go through and inspect your items to give you the most accurate estimate of your costs, and will never want to skip this step. 


Now that you know what not to look for in a moving company and how to avoid a moving scam, let Moving Services Inc. show you what professional movers who have your best interests in mind truly look like! Discover our customizable moving packages and services to find the best fit for you. 

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