Moving scam – red flags
The moving industry has grown quite significantly. This is due to the fact that relocating has become an increasing event in everyone’s life. With this increase followed the increase in demand. The industry has grown and now has quite a bit of company competing for the trust of the clients. Unfortunately, the trend that followed this growth was the increase in moving scam department.
With a huge number of companies came a huge number of scammers and frauds. The damage these scammers can cause varies, and it can be either minimal or catastrophic. Basically, it comes down to how lucky or unlucky you are. Quazy companies trying to do a moving scam is no longer a rare event. Sadly, the numbers keep growing. The good thing is that there are easier ways to spot one fraud. Still, no advice we can give you is bulletproof. But, if you follow the majority of them you should be quite ok. Some of the moving companies offer moving services Baltimore that are great, in fact.
This article will discuss different moving scam red flags and how you can spot them. Furthermore, we will try to help you avoid ever getting scammed. Still, we can all become the prey of different frauds, but hopefully, this will not be the case with your relocation.
Moving scam – what is it?
Before we can help you identify frauds we need to understand what a moving scam is. Moving companies offer a very unique and specialized type of service – they are here to help you with your relocation. This means that (legitimate) moving companies are going to take on all the weight of a relocation. You will contact the moving company and they will send out an agent to give you a quote. They will do all the logistics, organization as well as the heavy lifting, crowned with transportation. In a perfect scenario, you should go to a moving company, pay for the above-mentioned services after which all of them will be performed. In a perfect scenario.
However, in reality, this is not always the case. Moving frauds will advertise all of the above-mentioned services (and more) without the ability (or desire) to actually do any of them. However, they will still gladly part you with your money. So how does this work?
You would choose a company that is, unfortunately, a moving scam. You would pay for the service, but in return, you would receive none. This is the best possible moving scam version. To make matters worse, you could end up paying for a moving service and not only not receive it, but additionally have your belongings stolen or taken hostage. There are quite despicable moving scams that happened in the past few years that you should try to avoid at all cost.
Types of moving scams
Let’s discuss a few moving scam examples. The most frequent ones come from fake moving companies that require payment in advance. In this case, once you made your deposit payment (or full payment) you would never hear from them again. Again, this is one of the most common ones and one of the least dangerous ones. Of course, you are at a loss since you gave money for nothing, but this is where it ends.
Another, more malicious, example is of a moving company that asks for a deposit (or full downpayment) in advance. Once they receive it they will confirm your service and show up at your home on moving day, as agreed. Once all your belongings are packed into their truck you would never hear from them again. So, you paid for your items to be moved and you had your precious belongings stolen.
Another version of this example is when they do not steal your items, but rather take them hostage. In this case, you would receive a call stating that they have your items, and unless you pay a ransom for them you will never see them again. Here, you both lose money and either your belongings or some additional money. A very uncomfortable situation.
Bonus example – legitimate company moving scam
Lastly, another example of a quite common moving scam is the ‘we need to reschedule’ scam. Basically, it would be a legitimate moving company that would take some money in advance. When the moving day comes they would call you on that very day and say they have no agents available to take on your move (inserting some random excuse there). They would then give you a choice – either pay extra and continue with the move as planned or reschedule for another day. Many clients do not have the latter as an option since they need to leave their apartments. This would get you in a situation where you have to pay an extra amount of money in order to move.
So, how do you fight them?
Fortunately, the internet has become an amazing tool. Ignorance is a choice in this day and age, and we really hope you choose otherwise. If anyone was ever a victim of such a moving scam they will usually want to be very vocal about it. This means that, if you dig deep enough, you will discover which moving companies are fraudulent.
The best thing you could do is find a moving company you wish to hire and then research it. Begin by scouting their website. If they do not have a website or have some make-shift website you should consider it as a red flag. No legitimate moving company will lack a proper website. Take Allstate Moving and Storage as an example of how a legitimate company website looks like.
Secondly, use the company name as a keyword in an online search. See what type of reviews and feedback they have and start from there. You can use websites like Yelp to see if people have a positive or negative experience with a particular company. If everything seems legit you are probably safe. However, if there are at least a few things that seem unsafe, take it as a red flag and walk away. This is the best way to be safe.