Generally, fraudulent moving companies operate this way: they give a low budget by telephone or via the Internet without ever visiting your home or seeing the items you want moved. Once your goods are loaded on the truck, before delivery, they will require more money. Then they hold your goods hostage and force you to pay more (sometimes much more than you thought you had agreed to pay) to retrieve your belongings.
Your best defense against this is to recognize a moving company scam before they can take over your goods. The following are “red flag” warnings to help spot a possible scam:
- The mover does not offer or agree to do an inspection of your goods and give you a quote over the phone or through Internet-without having seen anything. Often, these assumptions seem too good to be true. And usually is not real.
- The mover will require payment in cash or a large deposit before making the move.
- The mover does not deliver a copy of the booklet “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move”. Federal regulations require that all moving companies must provide this brochure to clients who are planning interstate moves.
- The Web site of the mover does not include the address or provide any information about licensing or insurance company.
- The mover claims all your goods are covered by the insurance company.
- When you call the mover, the person answering the call generically says “move” or “mover” and no specific name mentioned and the company.
- The offices and warehouses of the company are in poor maintenance conditions or even nonexistent.
- On moving day, instead of getting a truck owned by the company with the right name appears on the vehicle found a rental truck.