Believe it or not, moving scams like this are common and usually considered civil matters rather than criminal, so the police may not be able to help you. However, there are a number of ways you can avoid scams like this from happening to you and here are some tips to protect yourself:
1] Avoid telephone or internet quotes. Oftentimes low ball quotes given over the phone or online are provided by moving brokers and not the actual movers themselves. Have any prospective movers give you their estimates in person so they can accurately estimate the weight, labor, and materials needed to do the job.
2] Ask if there will be any additional costs that are not included in the estimate and if there will be, get those costs in writing as well. Movers may charge extra for packing materials, difficult building access, moving expensive antiques or unusually heavy items, etc.
3] Get references from family members or friends. Talk to people who have used a mover and were satisfied with their service.
4] Do your homework and be sure the company is legitimate. Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there is a complaint history and contact the Department of Transportation - Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to see if they're licensed and reputable.
5] Get everything in writing and never sign a blank contract. Read every word and make sure that all your belongings are listed in detail.
6] Take photos and/or video of your belongings before they are packed. This will give you evidence of what you own and its condition prior to the move.
7] Keep important paperwork like financial documents and sensitive personal information with you and don't allow high value items such as jewelry, fine artwork, firearms, coin collections, precious metals, etc. to be moved. Items of this nature can be stolen by people working for the movers.
8] Don't pay up front. When you do pay, use a credit card that will help you fight any fraudulent charges.
For information on how we can customize The Red Guide to Recovery for your community:http://www.
FREE Resources - go here for resource links and tools to help you prepare or recover from a disaster:
Visit us on facebook:
Check out our Youtube videos:
Visit our website at:
Email us at:
Call us at: