Common Moving Scams & How To Avoid Them

Moving can be stressful. And even worse landing on a scammer to handle the relocation can make your move one to bring the worst experience. As such, you do not want to become a victim of scam movers. By knowing signs to tell if you are dealing with a reliable mover or if it is a scammer, you cannot fall victim of scam movers. So, read the coverage below and learn the signs to look for, to know whether you are dealing with a scam or a genuine moving company. The coverage also includes some tips to avoid falling prey of scammers.

1. Inaccurate estimates

Moving companies that give inexact moving quotes exist. You will find contractors who give you an estimate without having an idea of what you want to move, the distance to cover, the amount of packing involved and even the truck that you will want. However, all these have to be incorporated into the final cost. Most scam movers want to give you a small price quotation, so you will hire them only to find out later that they had hidden costs.

To avoid falling into the trap of such scams, it is crucial that you go with a company that offers an onsite estimate. They should come to your home to verify the amount of stuff to move, and they should even ask you whether you need them to do the packing or if you will do it yourself. Also, they should ask about who will take care of the loading and unloading, as well as inquire about the obstacles that will hinder a smooth move such as staircases, as all these will count in the final cost.

Another way to protect yourself from such movers is by requesting to have the price quote included in the moving contract. The movers should include a ”guaranteed not to exceed” option for estimates in the agreement. This will protect you from having to get surprise-charges at the end of the transit due to hidden costs. You should make sure that you read all the clauses enlisted in the contract to ensure that the guarantee statement is not limited to particular instances before signing it.

2. Request of deposits

Another technique that scam movers use is asking you to pay large deposits to book their services. Note that reputable moving companies do not ask for any or enormous deposits while booking their services. Movers who do so are not to be trusted. Besides, they may just take your money and not show up during the moving day.

To avoid falling victim of such scams, stay away from any moving company that asks you for a big deposit. A small amount can be understandable but not an amount that will result in massive losses if you find out that it was a scam. Also, keep checking with the movers to ensure that they still remember about your move and let them confirm that they will be on time as planned.

3. Multiple names

Think about it. Why should a company have several names when one can do better? After all, a company with one name can be discovered faster by clients unlike that with several confusing names. This means that our answer lies in the fact that the company has something to hide, and most probably it has a bad reputation with one of its previous names. For instance, note that when you get scammed and report the company that took advantage of you to the Better Bussiness Bureau, this entity gives the company a bad name which makes such moving companies change their names.

To avoid becoming a victim to movers who apply this technique, research more about the company and learn about the names they use. Also, ensure that the movers you select have the appropriate license, insurance, and a local address. The company should also have a list of references whom they should recommend to you so that you can confirm if it is authentic and get an idea of the nature of their services.

4. Hidden fees

Another tactic that scam movers use is charging you for things that they failed to discuss with you from the beginning. For instance, you will get a company that includes additional charges because the access road to your destination is narrow which needed them to transfer your goods from the truck to a smaller van.

You should avoid paying for such costs by all means. Make sure that you discuss with your moving company in details about hidden costs. Ask as many questions about the charges that sum up to the final price to ensure that you have an idea of all such costs. Also, let the company note down the agreement about the costs in a contract to avoid any misunderstanding, and ensure that you thoroughly understand the contract before putting your signature on it.

5. Blank contracts

Last but not least, this is another technique majorly applied by scam movers. They will ask you to sign contracts that do not have all the information filled, claiming that they are busy but will fill them later with the correct information. Think about this, what if you sign a blank contract, and contrary to the agreement, the moving contractor goes and fills it with information that you do not assent. Who will be held liable? You will be accountable as long as your signature exists, as that directly proves that you were involved, even though you know you were not.

To avoid being a victim of such misfortunes, never sign a blank contract. Remember, you can’t trust someone you met on the first day while you do not know his/her motive. Only sign a contract with all gaps filled, and one you completely agree to. Also, ask for a copy of your own for your safe keeping.


You can save yourself from much trouble by ensuring that you deal with legitimate movers. So, make sure that you look out for the signs covered above among the movers you are considering to hire. If you note that the moving company you want to hire features one or all of the signs above, stay away, as such a measure will protect you from many problems.