Moving across states can be overwhelming, and it’s crucial to avoid scams during this process. In the past year, there have been numerous complaints about moving scams, such as items being lost or delayed.
To ensure a smooth and secure move, it’s vital to follow some straightforward and effective strategies. These strategies can help you avoid common moving scams and ensure a hassle-free transition to your new home.
1. Vigilant Research and Verification
Start by researching potential moving companies. Utilize resources like the Better Business Bureau and Yelp for reviews and ratings, but remember to look beyond online reviews. The credibility of a moving company can often be gauged by its track record in handling complaints and legal actions.
2. Detailed Background Checks
When considering a moving company, it’s crucial to verify their legitimacy. Ask for the company’s USDOT number and MC (Motor Carrier) number, and check these against the database on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website. A company that hesitates to provide this information is a red flag.
3. Asking the Right Questions
Don’t hesitate to ask detailed questions about the moving process. Inquire about how estimates are calculated, potential extra charges, access fees, and the company’s responsiveness. The more questions you ask, the clearer the picture you get of their services and customer support quality.
4. Red Flags to Watch Out For
Be aware of common signs of moving scams:
- Frequent name changes by the company can indicate a troubled past.
- Be wary of fake references; seek genuine feedback from past customers.
- A lack of attention to detail, such as the absence of contact numbers on websites, can be a warning sign.
- Questionable insurance coverage or valuation offers.
- Unusually low estimates that significantly increase after a deposit is paid.
- Requests for large deposits or cash payments.
- Additional fees not included in the initial estimate.
- Estimates based on cubic feet rather than weight for interstate moves.
- Avoid signing blank contracts and ensure all terms are clearly stated.
5. Taking Action Against Scams
If you suspect you’ve been scammed, take immediate action:
- Attempt to resolve the issue directly with the moving company.
- Look for the owner’s contact information on platforms like LinkedIn.
- If unresolved, file a complaint through the FMCSA’s Consumer Database or contact them directly.
Final Thoughts: Secure Your Move Against Scams
Moving doesn’t have to be synonymous with stress and scams. By conducting thorough research, asking the right questions, and being aware of red flags, you can safeguard yourself against disreputable moving companies.
Remember, the best defense against moving scams is choosing a trusted and verified long-distance mover for your relocation.