Moving Scams to Avoid – How to Check if a Moving Company is Legitimate?
When you are moving to a new home or relocating to your business, you’ll want to depend on an Orange County moving company you can trust. You’ll want help from residential and commercial movers who are qualified and reputable.
When you’re are looking for movers, it is easy to be attracted to a great deal or a seemingly legitimate company. Still, you must be a on the lookout for unreliable or even fake moving companies. Gentle John’s Moving & Storage gives some pointers on how you can identify and avoid moving scams.
The Most Common Types of Moving Scams
There are numerous ways fake or unscrupulous movers can scam you and cheat you of your money or belongings. In worst-case scenarios, victims of moving scams have had all their possessions stolen. Obviously, you want to avoid moving scams at all costs. Start by knowing the most common moving scams which are:
- The Hostage – A moving company give you a low estimate, only to add a bunch of additional costs once they have all your stuff in their moving truck. They’ll keep hold of your belongings until you agree to pay the increased price which can sometimes be double or triple the amount you agreed upon.
- Bait and Switch – Similar to The Hostage scam, a mover will sell you on a low quote, but then switch the arranged deal to a much higher price at the last minute. Some people would rather accept the inflated price tag over having to find a new mover. Understand that this isn’t normal, this is a moving scam.
- Reckless Abandonment – A worst-case scenario, this moving scam involves a moving company taking your payment, loading your belongings into their truck, and then closing their shop and fleeing into the night. In the end, these fake movers take off with your money and belongings!
How to Protect Yourself from Fake Moving Companies
There are several precautions you can take to avoid falling victim to moving scams.
- Request an On-Site Estimate – While you can call or email a moving company for a quote, treat this as a preliminary step. Request professionals from the Orange County moving company you are considering to visit and inspect your home so that they can give you a more accurate estimate.
- Do Not Pay in Cash – Using cash to pay your movers is never a good idea because it leaves no record of the transaction. It’s easier for fake moving companies to steal your money and things if there is no evidence proving you paid for their services.
- Check Mover’s USDOT Number – To see if the company is legitimate, ask for their USDOT number. This number is given to them by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Moto Carrier Safety Administration and means the company is licensed. You can check if the number is legit by searching for it in the USDOT’s online database. The company’s moving trucks should also have this number clearly labeled on them. The USDOT number of Gentle John’s Moving & Storage is #3100803.