The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about moving scams that take place every year, often leading to both financial and emotional distress.  The BBB reportedly receives an average of 13,000 complaints and negative reviews about movers each year.

It can be easy to get fooled by scammers as they often are very helpful over the phone while boasting of having well-trained workers.  They may also have a professional looking website.

There are things you can do to protect yourself.  A great start is to check the company's movers license number on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's website.

Other BBB tips to avoid a moving scam include:

  • Don’t just use a simple internet search to find a mover. It is important to do a careful and extensive search to make sure you are dealing with an honest mover.
  • Get three in-person or virtual estimates. Rogue operators rarely appear in person to give estimates.  A low-priced estimate given over the phone can end up costing more than a legitimate mover charges.
  • Get an estimate based on weight, not cubic feet. Rogue operators prefer to give estimates in cubic feet. Volume is easier to manipulate than weight so they can later claim additional charges.
  • Get full value replacement liability protection. It costs a little more, but may be well worth the price. Interstate movers in the U.S. are legally required to offer coverage
    in their estimates.
  • Watch out for large deposit or cash demands.  Other than a small down payment, honest movers don’t have you pay until after they have delivered goods. So if the mover demands that you pay during the course of a move or when loading or delivering, you are dealing with a scammer.
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If you do end up getting scammed during a move, the BBB suggests you take the following actions:

  • File a report with local police.
  • Contact MoveRescue at moverescue.com or (800) 832-1773.
  • Go to BBB.org to file a complaint or report a scam on BBB Scam Tracker.
  • File an online complaint with the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or call 1-888-DOT-SAFT (1-888-368-7238). While the regulator typically does not represent individual victims, it does track complaints and will request the mover’s license number.
  • File a claim with the insurer listed in your moving contract.

You can follow the link below to read the investigative study conducted on moving scams.