The day after Memorial Day is deemed as “National Moving Day.” As a moving company, we can see why- Summer is the season for moving! May is the perfect time of year to start a new life: Flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, and the kids are free from that dreaded school. Moving is even better when you can hire someone else to take care of the hard work for you.
But what most people don’t realize about hiring a moving company is that there is a great danger that must be addressed: Moving scams. Below we will discuss what a moving scam is, how to avoid them, and what to do if you happen to be a target or victim of one.
It is exactly how it sounds. A moving company schemes up a way to take your money while giving you horrible service, no service at all, or holding your belongings for ransom until you pay them even MORE money. These happen regularly, every day. The goal is to take a customer’s money without providing the service previously discussed or agreed upon.
Believe it or not, there are different types of moving scams that people should be aware of. Here we will discuss the main types, which each one is, and what that scenario might look like.
The first type of moving scam to watch out for is the large deposit request. With this scam, the moving company asks for a large deposit prior to the move (more than twenty percent of the estimate). This should be a huge red flag to customer’s as most companies only ask for a small deposit, or none at all. Deposits are typically made to secure your moving day and go toward the cost of moving, but not in this case. And once the scamming company receives your money, they discontinue any contact with you and simply just “disappear.” In reality, they’re already out trying to scam someone else into giving them their money for absolutely no service.
The next scam is the invented charges scheme. This scenario would look like everything is going according to plan, but when you receive the bill for the service, there are added fees listed. The company does this to drive up the price- not just by a little bit, but by huge amounts. There could be “driver’s fee” or a “stairs fee’s” that weren’t mentioned in the estimate or contract. If these things weren’t discussed in the contract signed by you and the company, there’s a good chance that you are dealing with a scam.
Another simple way that you could be scammed is by the weight estimate that the company provided. With this scam, the company arrives at your home and gives you an estimate based upon weight. But once the service is over and they hand you the bill, the actual price jumps up to two, or three times the original estimate. What a total scam!
The last scam that I want to discuss, and possibly the worst one, is the hostage situation. This scam is all about proper estimates, wonderful loading times, and amazing service- until you show up at the new house and your belongings never make it. The company either just stole all of your household items, or they are holding them ransom until you pay the company a HUGE amount of money. This situation is especially awful because you are trying to move into your beautiful new home, but don’t have a couch or bed to lay in. You feel as though you HAVE to pay the company what they ask, otherwise you won’t get your stuff back.
I know these situations sound horrible, and might make you wary about hiring a moving company- but do not fear! There are steps you can take to avoid these scams and luckily we listed them below just for you!
To check whether or not a company has proper authority and insurance, please visit the Missouri Department of Transportation’s website here. To check if a company is properly licensed and to verify their safety rating and other useful information, please click here.
Below are resources you can use to report a moving company due to a scam.
For more possibilities on how to deal with a fraudulent moving company, please visit https://www.movingscam.com/articles/ive-scammed-now.
Moving scams are incredibly scary. Move It With M&S LLC has noticed a recent rise in new moving “companies” trying to advertise here in Saint Joseph. We want as many people to be aware of the possible scams that could be arising near you and understand what to do if you notice one occurring. We also want to implore that it’s okay to put your trust in moving companies- as long as you follow the necessary steps/actions, you will be sure to find yourself an honest, trustworthy moving company to help kickstart your new life in your beautiful new home.
The owner of Move It With M&S LLC, Theresa Meyer, has fourteen years of experience in the moving industry. If you have any questions or need advice about hiring a moving company, even if it’s not ours, please feel free to contact her at (816) 689-2627 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep an eye out for our next blog post to learn more about moving estimates and pricing!