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10 things you need to know to avoid moving scams

It’s a sad fact of life, but there are many untrustworthy people who want nothing more than help you part from your hard earned money. While we can’t help protect you in all areas of your life, Moving Guardian can help educate you on some of the tactics moving companies may use to swindle unsuspecting consumers.

In order to avoid the moving scams you first need to learn how these businesses operate. The following 10 tips will help you avoid the moving scams and cons used by some of the less than scrupulous moving companies:

  • Every legitimate moving company is licensed but not every licensed company is legit. It’s unfortunately true, even though a moving company is state licensed, that alone is not a good enough indicator of their business practice. To ensure you avoid these companies and to help you find a legitimate ‘A’ rated moving company, you should use our America’s Best Moving Company search engine.
  • Be wary of a moving company that asks you for an initial security deposit – a legitimate company will never ask for money upfront.
  • Always insist on receiving all your agreements in writing. It doesn’t matter how nice the moving company salesperson appears to be, verbal guarantees are useless and will not stand up in court.
  • If a moving company tells you they charge by the cubic foot – leave or hang-up the phone. Companies that charge by the cubic foot are almost always rogue movers.
  • Another indicator of a potential scam is if a moving company tells you that they don’t need to visit your home to assess the move but can still give you an accurate estimate.
  • When you first call a moving company, always make a note of the person you spoke with. Try calling back a couple of days later and see how easy it is to reach that person before you sign anything.
  • Always research potential moving companies before you set-up your move. Don’t trust moving review websites that contain mostly positive reviews. These websites are mainly paid advertising fees to promote moving companies. A great tool to help you check into the background of a company is Moving Guardian’s Moving Review Website. Visitors post their experiences with their local moving company so you can double check before you make a decision.
  • Don't trust a moving company that doesn’t have an office. Visit the offices and take a look at their trucks. Do the trucks look well maintained and clean? If they don’t, it could be an indication of how your property will be handled during the move. Many illegally operating movers buy run down moving trucks from other moving companies and effectively steal that company’s identity.
  • Research every moving company’s rating with the Better Business Bureau. We provide you with this research for FREE on the moving review section of our site.
  • Never use a company that only accepts cash, postal/money orders or certified bank checks. Many rogue movers will take an initial deposit using a credit card to secure your business, but once they have your belongings will only take payments in cash or postal/money orders.