How to protect against fraudulent movers
Each year, over 35 million Americans are moving due to career opportunities, lower costs of living and other personal reasons. When moving to another state, they often hire long-distance moving companies. Can you imagine can you how much money and effort was put into it? Probably millions of dollars. But regardless of the amount, and whether we had a lot of money or we have been saving for the move, nobody likes to be fooled. Unfortunately, lately, there have been a lot of fraudulent companies known as rogue movers, who do illegal business. If you’re looking forward to relocating, check our tips and get to know how to protect against fraudulent movers.
Find out the latest information about fraudulent movers.
If you want to find out how to protect against fraudulent movers, you need to find out the latest information. Since we have that luck to live in a digital era, it’s never been easier to find all the information you need on the Internet. According to The U.S. Attorney’s Office, there are more than 900 victims who were involved in moving scams between April 2013 and July 2018. More than 40 victims mentioned some unpleasant experiences with rogue movers. Some said that movers arrived on an incorrect day or didn’t show up at all, while others have mentioned extra costs despite paying deposits. Some of them even refused delivery of items until a higher price was paid.
What is considered suspicious when you need to protect against fraudulent movers?
The first thing about rogue movers is that they often change the name of the company and website. Before you hire moving services, you need to find a reliable moving company. But before we start with that topic, here are some tips from The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to help you protect against fraudulent movers. Activities are suspicious if the moving company:
– don’t offer or agree to an onsite inspection of your household items and gives an estimate over the telephone or online — sight unseen;
– requires cash or a large deposit before the move and asks you to sign a blank contract;
– doesn’t provide a written estimate
–claims all goods are covered by their insurance
– says they will determine the charges after loading
– doesn’t provide a copy of the “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” booklet and copy of FMCSA’s Ready to Move brochure, which is required by Federal regulation.
Beware also of…
Professional movers will go through your house with you and write down the inventory they will need to move. You can watch and complain if something’s wrong. The fraudulent mover will do a quick walk-through of your home without opening cabinets and write down almost everything. While reliable movers will ask you what are you planning to move, or do you want to move the food and liquor from your fridge too, fraudulent movers will write down that. It’s because they charge by the weight of shipping. Be smart and tell the movers what to include.
Find a reliable moving company.
Don’t worry about this step. It’s easy to find a reliable and affordable moving company if you take enough time to explore all the information. The best way to hear about a reliable moving company is to ask for a recommendation from your friends, family or neighbors. They can give you first-hand information about the commercial movers, but your main weapon for investigation is the Internet. The reliable moving company has a website with all information customers need. They display all their services, moving insurance and moving options. After you finish getting all the information, you need to read feedback from customers.
Beware of the name change.
When it comes to rogue movers, one of the most common activities they do is to change their name. Some fraudulent moving companies continue to do business under new names. Make sure you check if the company has a constant address and information about license and insurance. Try to call their number and ask about their moving experience and services. If the company has all state and federal numbers it’s about a reliable company. And this could be one of the hints on how to avoid moving scams altogether!
Compare several companies.
People can protect against fraudulent movers only if they compare several moving companies. Take time to do online research of at least three moving companies. Check all information and ask about their services. Compare them and see which one is the most affordable for your budget. And, don’t forget to check their customer reviews. If you need further information about moving tips check cross country moving tips.
Don’t pay a large deposit before moving.
Think logically. Trust your intuition. Some makings of a reliable interstate moving company won’t demand money or any large deposit before they start with relocating your things, or signing a contract. Don’t be naive and refuse to pay upfront, because there is the chance you will never see the movers again. They can get away with your money easily. When you need to pay, think about using a credit card. That can help you to fight any fraudulent activity.
Don’t sign the blank contract.
Always avoid signing blank contracts always, not only when you need to protect against fraudulent movers. No matter how much do you like an offer from a certain moving company, don’t ever sign a blank contract. Ask for all details in written form and have absolutely everything you need in writing. This should include your estimate, extra fees, and moving insurance. Read your contract and inventory of your household and see if all the belongings are there.
Protect against fraudulent movers – Moving insurance
Ask moving company about moving insurance and protect against fraudulent movers. What you need to know is that all movers have to assume liability for the value of the goods that they are relocating. There are two different kinds of moving insurance. You can choose one depending on your budget. The most basic option that companies offer is released value protection. This means no extra cost to you, but provides just minimal protection (60 cents per pound per item). Most reliable companies will ask if you want this type of moving insurance. Full value protection coverage means full replacement value protection. Federal law covers this option and it provides full protection to your items, but you need to pay a premium upfront. Each company has its own full value policy and with a minimum level of coverage, usually between $4 or $6 per pound on household items.