Early signs of a moving scam
When you decide to move, the last thing you want to happen is for you to get scammed. There are some “companies” that may want to do this. While this is very illegal and immoral, people still do it because they consider this “easy money”. If you are presented with a too-good-to-be-true price and services – beware, because they may try to scam you. You need to hire reliable movers to get your belongings to your new house safely. In this text, we will cover some early signs of a moving scam, and ways the fake movers will try to conduct their illegal business.
Fake moving companies will often ask you to pay up-front, before the move. This way they can get your money and never answer your calls again. Reliable moving companies will mostly ask for payment after the delivery is done. Some may charge you a small percentage before the move, but this is only done to ensure that you are serious as well. A small 20% fee to ensure that you took their job seriously, will make reliable moving companies trust you, as well as gaining your trust.
Checking the company’s website
This is a very important step in your move. If the company is reliable, they will have a website with all their services stated. Shady movers will either have a low-budget website which offers no information, or not have a website at all. There will probably be some reviews on the website. A big number of bad reviews is a sure sign that the company is not reliable. However, you should be wary of many positive reviews as well. This can indicate fake reviews the scammers wrote for themselves and are trying to bait people in using their services. Encountering a website like this is a good sign of a moving scam.
No company address – an early sign of a moving scam
A reliable company will always have an address and a phone number stated on the website. Some fake moving companies will have fake addresses, so you should always check if the address exists at all. Try using Google Maps or other search engines to verify the address and see if it is real.
Informal phone etiquette
Although being kind and friendly is very appealing to some customers, being too friendly can be a sign of a moving scam. Little to no professionalism in your phone calls or communication should be avoided. You need to find someone who will consider their job seriously before making a decision. It is better to hire someone who is serious and 100% professional than someone who is friendly and informal. This is a sign of them trying to lure you into hiring them by acting as your friend.
Low moving prices
Some movers may try to bait you by using low prices. Moving to Miami or anywhere else is an expensive endeavor and you will probably try to use every way to make it cheaper. But, be wary of low costs of the moving process handed to you by the company of your choice. They can make you pay this up-front, and charge you a lot more money upon delivery. This scam is often called the hostage scam. They will deliver your belongings to your new home and refuse to open the truck before you pay the price you never agreed upon. This situation can be solved by renting your own truck and keeping a copy of the key.
One more way they may try to scam you is demanding you pay by cash. Although paying by cash can save you some troubles of check writing and other boring bureaucratic stuff, this allows the scammers to get away with their scam. This will leave you with no proof of your payment. Some companies will give you the option of paying by cash, but scammers will consider that the only option of payment. Be wary of this.
No written contract
A reliable moving company will always give you a contract with a quote and an estimate. An estimate is when the movers look at your belongings and give you a price depending on the weight and size. Other than that, distance is another thing they will consider before making an estimate. The price may wary a little from the estimate, but you will have a general idea of how much the moving process will cost.
There are many ways to make your move cheaper if you wish to do so. Scammers will try to make you believe that a contract is irrelevant but this only gives them a chance to scam you. This way, you cannot sue them for scamming you because you have no proof of it. Always ask for a contract, and if the company refuses to give you one, look for another company, because there is a big chance that this one is a scam.
Some examples of clever scams
There are some scams that even people that did their homework fall for. We have already mentioned the hostage one, but there are some more moving scams that you need to be wary of:
- The shifty scale:
This is when the company gives you an estimate, but report back a much larger weight when they actually do the weighing. This can be prevented if you are present at the weighing.
- The broken broker:
This is when a broker gives you a false estimate. They will then give a much bigger estimate to the company, and when the movers appear at your door with a much larger price than you agreed with your broker, you will be surprised. And that is how this moving scam works. Simple and easy.
- The lowball:
This is when the company excludes all the additional fees. Later, on a moving day, some prices you have not agreed upon pop up. The movers will refuse to do the move if they are not compensated.
Always beware of scammers, as they have a lot of ways to carry out their unethical plan. By following the steps included in this text, you will be well prepared for early signs of a moving scam, and find ways to prevent it. Or – choose our moving services and our team and ensure safe relocation!