Logo
Logo

Top 5 Moving Scams

Moving Scams

  1. Educate Yourself On How to Protect Your Move From Scams
  2. Charge Increase or Change For No Reason
  3. Bait and Switch, Avoid Moving Scams Movers
  4. Made-Up Charges
  5. The Estimate Glance
  6. Empty Contract
  7. Never Sign a Blank Contract
  8. Make Sure the Moving Truck is Marked
  9. Cash is Never a Payment Option
  10. Research, Research, Research!
  11. Use Moving Authority to Research and Book
  12. Look for the Moving Authority Caution Banner

1. Educate Yourself On How to Protect Your Move From Scams

Nobody wants to have a poor experience when moving. If you are using a professional moving company with good ratings, you won't have to worry about this. It is all too common to see people fall for scams from dishonest companies. These companies will try to make a quick buck by fooling you. In order to protect your moving endeavors, Moving Authority has comprised a list of the top five most common moving scams. We have also included ways that you can protect your move from these scams.
 

2. Charge Increase or Change For No Reason

You should always be weary of a company that advertises an unbelievably low rate. Chances are, the price is too good to be true, and you will find yourself in a world of trouble if you agree. When the movers take all of your goods in to their possession, the rate will increase. Sometimes, more seasoned scammers will charge 4 times the rate you agree to. Unfortunately, you probably did not get a hard copy of a binding estimate ahead of time. If you refuse to pay the new rate, the company will not release your goods. Most of the time, people find themselves with no choice other than to pay what is being demanded.
 

3. Bait and Switch, Avoid Moving Scams Movers

This is when moving company scammer tells you one thing but does another. They create an estimate for you before the move, and you agree to it. Then, once the move is complete, you have to pay more than the original agreed price. Often times you will be told that your move exceeded the estimate. The movers will not release your goods until you pay the larger price. They will leave you wondering how the new fees were created.
 

4. Made-Up Charges

This is when a new charge is added to the contract after you have agreed to the move. These charges are unknown to you and are not explained by the company. These charges may take the form of a driving fee, unload charge, or anything else that is a normal component for moving. When something is added to the contract after it has been signed, you have a scam on your hands. Proper written notification is required before certain items can be charged, such as in an estimate.
 

5. The Estimate Glance

Any moving estimator who does not do a detailed walk-through of your home before drawing up an estimate is likely pulling a scam. It is even more apparent that a scam is in the works when the mover does not make any attempt at a walk-through at all. All pro moving estimator will ask detailed questions about what you are moving. If this does not happen, you may be speaking with a scam mover. Not giving you an estimate before proceeding means that the mover can charge you anything. Since you never got an estimate, or you got a fake one, then you cannot fight the charges.
 

6. Empty Contract

An increasing number of people are reeled in to signing blank contracts from moving companies. This is the greatest type of scam for movers. Signing a blank contract gives the mover power to create whatever terms they want for your move. Make sure that everything you are moving is written clearly and accurately on the inventory list. If you are moving a bedroom and the box simply says "bedroom", then the mover can easily steal things from you. If you have a laptop in your bedroom that is not listed on the inventory, then the movers can easily take it during the move. You would have no way of recovering it since you cannot dispute something that was never listed on the contract.
 
moving scams, how to aviod

 

7. Never Sign a Blank Contract

Since we talked about this one, let's discuss how you can prevent being fooled in this way. Long distance moving scams the contract that you sign should clearly state that there is no circumstance that could bring about extra charges during the move. It should also state an exact date for both pickup and delivery of goods, as well as a price estimate for the move.
 

8. Make Sure the Moving Truck is Marked

Moving companies that are operating within the law will have trucks with clear labeling. The trucks should also have commercial plates. A clear display of the USDOT number is also required by the United States Department of Transportation. The paperwork that you sign should also have a moving logo on it. Some craigslist moving scams essentially, you should ensure that all operations can be rooted back to one company that has a license.
 

9. Cash is Never a Payment Option

The only cash that should be exchanged between you and the mover is a tip. If you pay for the entirety of the move in cash, the movers could very easily take off with your goods and claim that they never received payment. Always pay with credit, debit, or check, if accepted. This way, your bank will have a record of the transaction on file.
 

10. Research, Research, Research!

We cannot stress enough how important it is to research all the companies you consider. Ensure that the company has a physical address listed online. Read reviews from previous customers and do a search for their DOT number. Doing these things will ensure that you are working with trusted movers.
 

11. Use Moving Authority to Research and Book

Moving Authority only lists movers that have passed a background check. The movers we list have also been verified through the DOT. We make sure all of their licensing is in order before we work with them.
 

12. Look for the Moving Authority Caution Banner


Caution Mover
 
In continuing our efforts to keep you safe during your relocation, we have integrated a caution banner into our site. This banner appears on pages of companies who have no renewed their USDOT license. It also appears if they do not have proper insurance, or have in some way make their trustworthiness questionable to us. When you see this banner, we recommend that you choose another company within our site to do business with. The company with the banner must fix their issue, or they face removal from our site.

There are currently no comments

Add Comment

required

required (not published)

optional

Did You Know

Question

The trucking industry has made a large historical impact since the early 20th century. It has affected the U.S. both politically as well as economically since the notion has begun. Previous to the invention of automobiles, most freight was moved by train or horse-drawn carriage. Trucks were first exclusively used by the military during World War I.
 
After the war, construction of paved roads increased. As a result, trucking began to achieve significant popularity by the 1930's. Soon after trucking became subject to various government regulation, such as the hours of service. During the later 1950's and 1960's, trucking accelerated due to the construction of the Interstate Highway System. The Interstate Highway System is an extensive network of freeways linking major cities cross country.

Question The Motor Carrier Act, passed by Congress in 1935, replace the code of competition. The authorization the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) place was to regulate the trucking industry. Since then the ICC has been long abolished, however, it did quite a lot during its time. Based on the recommendations given by the ICC, Congress enacted the first hours of services regulation in 1938. This limited driving hours of truck and bus drivers. In 1941, the ICC reported that inconsistent weight limitation imposed by the states cause problems to effective interstate truck commerce.

Question Beginning the the early 20th century, the 1920's saw several major advancements. There was improvement in rural roads which was significant for the time. The diesel engine, which are 25-40% more efficient than gas engines were also a major breakthrough. We also saw the standardization of truck and trailer sizes along with fifth wheel coupling systems. Additionally power assisted brakes and steering developed. By 1933, all states had some form of varying truck weight regulation.

Question In the 20th century, the 1940 film "They Drive by Night" co-starred Humphrey Bogart. He plays an independent driver struggling to become financially stable and economically independent. This is all set during the times of the Great Depression. Yet another film was released in 1941, called "The Gang's All Here". It is a story of a trucking company that's been targeted by saboteurs.

Question Many modern trucks are powered by diesel engines, although small to medium size trucks with gas engines exist in the United States. The European Union rules that vehicles with a gross combination of mass up to 3,500 kg (7,716 lb) are also known as light commercial vehicles. Any vehicles exceeding that weight are known as large goods vehicles.

Question During the latter part of the 20th century, we saw a decline of the trucking culture. Coinciding with this decline was a decline of the image of truck drivers, as they became negatively stigmatized. As a result of such negativity, it makes sense that truck drivers were frequently portrayed as the "bad guy(s)" in movies.

Question The moving industry in the United States was deregulated with the Household Goods Transportation Act of 1980. This act allowed interstate movers to issue binding or fixed estimates for the first time. Doing so opened the door to hundreds of new moving companies to enter the industry. This led to an increase in competition and soon movers were no longer competing on services but on price. As competition drove prices lower and decreased what were already slim profit margins, "rogue" movers began hijacking personal property as part of a new scam. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces Federal consumer protection regulations related to the interstate shipment of household goods (i.e., household moves that cross State lines). FMCSA has held this responsibility since 1999, and the Department of Transportation has held this responsibility since 1995 (the Interstate Commerce Commission held this authority prior to its termination in 1995).

Question Popular among campers is the use of lightweight trailers, such as aerodynamic trailers. These can be towed by a small car, such as the BMW Air Camper. They are built with the intent to lower the tow of the vehicle, thus minimizing drag.

Question AMSA wanted to help consumers avoid untrustworthy or illegitimate movers. In January 2008, AMSA created the ProMover certification program for its members. As a member, you must have federal interstate operating authority. Members are also required to pass an annual criminal back check, be licensed by the FMCSA, and agree to abide by ethical standards. This would include honesty in advertising and in business transaction with customers. Each must also sign a contract committing to adhere to applicable Surface Transportation Board and FMCSA regulations. AMSA also takes into consideration and examines ownership. They are very strict, registration with state corporation commissions. This means that the mover must maintain at least a satisfactory rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). As one can imagine, those that pass are authorized to display the ProMove logo on the websites and in marketing materials. However, those that fail will be expelled from the program (and AMSA) if they cannot correct discrepancies during probation.

Question The United States Department of Transportation has become a fundamental necessity in the moving industry. It is the pinnacle of the industry, creating and enforcing regulations for the sake of safety for both businesses and consumers alike. However, it is notable to appreciate the history of such a powerful department. The functions currently performed by the DOT were once enforced by the Secretary of Commerce for Transportation. In 1965, Najeeb Halaby, administrator of the Federal Aviation Adminstration (FAA), had an excellent suggestion. He spoke to the current President Lyndon B. Johnson, advising that transportation be elevated to a cabinet level position. He continued, suggesting that the FAA be folded or merged, if you will, into the DOT. Clearly, the President took to Halaby's fresh ideas regarding transportation, thus putting the DOT into place.

Question The basics of all trucks are not difficult, as they share common construction. They are generally made of chassis, a cab, an area for placing cargo or equipment, axles, suspension, road wheels, and engine and a drive train. Pneumatic, hydraulic, water, and electrical systems may also be present. Many also tow one or more trailers or semi-trailers, which also vary in multiple ways but are similar as well.

Question Relocation, or moving, is the process of vacating a fixed location, such as a residence or business, and settling in a different one. A move might be to a nearby location such as in the same neighborhood or a much farther location in a different city or even a different country. Moving usually includes packing up all belongings, transferring them to the new location, and unpacking them. It will also be necessary to update administrative information. This includes tasks such as notifying the post office, changing registration data, change of insurance, services etc. It is important to remember this step in the relocation process. 

Question

Although there are exceptions, city routes are interestingly most often found in the Midwestern area of the United States. Though they essentially serve the same purpose as business routes, they are different. They feature "CITY" signs as opposed to "BUSINESS" signs above or below route shields. Many of these city routes are becoming irrelevant for today's transportation. Due to this, they are being eliminated in favor of the business route designation.

Question The feature film "Joy Ride" premiered in 2001, portraying the story of two college-age brothers who by a CB radio while taking a road trip. Although the plot seems lighthearted, it takes a quick turn after one of the brothers attempts a prank on an unknown truck driver. They soon find out the dangerous intentions of this killer driver, who is set on getting his revenge. Seven years later in 2008 the sequel "Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead" came out on DVD only. Similar to its predecessor, the plot involves another murdering truck driver, a.k.a "Rusty Nail". He essentially plays psychological mind games with a young couple on a road trip.

Question Smoke and the Bandit was released in 1977, becoming the third-highest grossing movie. Following only behind Star Wars Episode IV and Close Encounter of the Third Kind, all three movies making an impact on popular culture. Conveniently, during that same year, CB Bears debuted as well. The Saturday morning cartoon features mystery-solving bears who communicate by CB radio. As the 1970's decade began to end and the 80's broke through, the trucking phenomenon had wade. With the rise of cellular phone technology, the CB radio was no longer popular with passenger vehicles, but, truck drivers still use it today.

Question In 1933, as a part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal”, the National Recovery Administration requested that each industry creates a “code of fair competition”. The American Highway Freight Association and the Federated Trucking Associations of America met in the spring of 1933 to speak for the trucking association and begin discussing a code. By summer of 1933 the code of competition was completed and ready for approval. The two organizations had also merged to form the American Trucking Associations. The code was approved on February 10, 1934. On May 21, 1934, the first president of the ATA, Ted Rogers, became the first truck operator to sign the code. A special "Blue Eagle" license plate was created for truck operators to indicate compliance with the code.

Question In today's society, there are rules and regulations everywhere you go, the same goes for commercial vehicles. The federal government has strict regulations that must be met, such as how many hours a driver may be on the clock. For example, 11 hours driving /14 hours on-duty followed by 10 hours off, with a max of 70 hours/8 days or 60 hours/7 days. They can also set rules deciding how much rest and sleep time is required, however, these are only a couple of regulations set. Any violations are often subject to harsh penalties. In some cases, there are instruments to track each driver's hours, which are becoming more necessary.

Question Known as a truck in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, it is essentially a motor vehicle designed to transport cargo. Otherwise known as a lorry in the United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, and Indian Subcontinent. Trucks vary not only in their types, but also in size, power, and configuration, the smallest being mechanically like an automobile. Commercial trucks may be very large and powerful, configured to mount specialized equipment. These are necessary in the case of fire trucks, concrete mixers, and suction excavators etc.