Signs of a moving scam

When planning a move, hiring a moving company is usually a great idea. You won’t have to worry about moving your belongings, and they will be delivered safely to your new home. But, there are companies out there which profit by scamming people looking for movers. In order to help you avoid these moving scams, we have put together a list of signs of a moving scam to help you recognize them.

Inaccurately estimated quote

The first step for most people organizing a move is calling moving companies and asking for quotes. Accurate quotes help you figure out a starting point for your budget. This is why it’s best to get a quote before budgeting for packing supplies. When you call a moving company to get your quote, usually they will send a representative to asses your belongings and give you an accurate estimate on the price. This is usually what you will pay in the end. If, however, a moving company offers to give you an estimate over the phone, that is one of the signs of a moving scam. Over the phone, they have no way of accurately estimating the weight and bulk of your items. Weight and bulk are what decides the cost of a move. So, if they estimate over the phone, the price will be much higher than the estimate.

Red phone on table
Only scammers will give you estimates over phone.

Requesting down payment

Respectable moving companies will never ask for a down payment. Scammers, on the other hand, will ask you to deposit a large amount of money in order to reserve their services. If a moving company asks you to deposit money, they are typically scammers. These companies will simply take your money and never show up to move your items. While it’s true that reputable moving companies might ask for a down payment, this usually isn’t higher than 20% of the total price. Most moving companies today however don’t ask for down payment.

Low rates and hidden fees

While a down payment request is definitely suspicious, another thing to look out for are extremely low rates. After all, a moving company has to pay their employees and maintain their vehicles. As such, moving for a low fee is impossible. Instead, these scammers will double their price at the last minute, when you don’t have time to find anyone else. So, while the benefits of hiring a moving company are great, be sure to keep an eye out for low rates. Always compare costs to other moving companies, and get estimates from several movers in order to compare. Also, certain scammers will rely on hidden fees. The final bill you receive at the end of a move should detail everything you were charged for. Look through it carefully, and look for any odd charges.

Calculator and cash on table
Legitimate moving companies won’t have any strange fees.

Unmarked vehicles

If your movers show up on moving day with unmarked trucks, you should be suspicious. After all, placing their logo on their vehicles is a great way to promote their business while working. If they don’t have the funds to put their logo and phone number on the side of their trucks, then they probably aren’t a legitimate company.

Blank contract

If a moving company gives you a blank contract to sign, immediately refuse and look for other movers. Some scammers will try to offer you a blank contract, saying they will fill in the blanks later. Essentially, they are asking you to take them at their word and believe they will fill the contract in with correct information. While it’s true that finding movers is one of the most time consuming activities in a move, only shorter than packing, you should take the time to find other movers. Remember, any good company will give you a proper contract to sign.

Spotting signs of a moving scam

Finding good movers can get difficult. But, if you know what to look for, you won’t have to waste time with fake moving companies and scammers. We hope this list helps you find the signs of a moving scam before it’s too late.