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How to Avoid a Moving Scam

If you’re in the market for the best local moving company or the best long-distance moving company for your relocation, you’ll not only need to know not only how to find reliable movers, but also know how to spot scam moving companies and avoid their services.

When looking for a good moving company, there are certain things you’ll want to look for when trying to determine whether the moving company you’re working with is a reputable one or a scam. Spotting a moving company scam can mean anything from recognizing that their website is off, to see them try to scam you in the flesh (and hopefully fail!).

Knowing you’re working with a good company can be complicated if you don’t do your research right. That’s why we’re giving you the biggest warning signs to look out for during a relocation so you can protect yourself and your household items.

How to Look Out for a Scam Moving Company?

Knowing how to spot a moving company scam is your biggest tool of value when it comes to steering clear of these fraudulent businesses.

One of the biggest ways to differentiate a real business from a fake one is by checking out your company’s FMCSA, or Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s license. If your company is legitimate, they should either have their license number somewhere on their website or will give it to you themselves for your research.

Looking up this number will let you protect your household items and see your moving company’s accreditations. If your company doesn’t show up as licensed, it’s a good idea to move along to another one.

Another warning sign in your process is to stay away from any movers that charge by cubic footage, or throughout another method other than by weight. Also, stay away from companies who don’t do an in-home estimate and keep their contracts away!

How to Look at Moving Company Reviews?

Another surefire way of finding a moving company that will truly work in your best interests is by thoroughly researching their practices and looking into their third-party reviews. Remember, anyone can post random reviews on their website, but if they have a low customer or Better Business Bureau score, you should probably stay away.

You should also of course ask around family and friends to learn about any especially enjoyable experiences.

To make it a little easier, we’ve included some of the most common characteristics of moving scam companies so you can point out these practices a mile away.

Scam Movers

    • Unlicensed

As we mentioned earlier, if your professional mover isn’t licensed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), this means that their authenticity as a business can be called into question on a federal level.

Use their US Department of Transportation number to research them through the FMCSA’s database and learn more about their practices or any complaints about them. The company’s USDOT number should be either provided to you by the company or will be listed in fine print at the bottom of their website.

Don’t forget – always do more to research your professional moving company than looking up a moving company’s USDOT number with the FMCSA’s database. All because a company may be licensed doesn’t mean they’ll provide you with the best services or best prices.

    • Read Customer Reviews

In addition to looking up a company’s licenses and doing your research on them, always go through their reviews to ensure they’ve been providing customers with the best experience possible. Don’t look only at the company’s website, either. On-site reviews can easily be faked or manufactured. Instead, we would recommend looking on Google, Yelp, and Google Reviews to find accurate experiences. Pay attention to trends of reviews, instead of the odd complaint or a random outlier.

    • Not Charging by Weight

Moving companies should always be charging by the cubic foot or by another method of charging that isn’t my weight. If they do not, this unfortunately can be a telltale sign of a moving scam. Genuine moving and storage companies will always charge you based on the weight of the items in your move, not by how much room your items will take up in their trucks.

    • Asking You to Sign a Contract Before an Estimate

If your potential moving company asks you to sign a contract or pay upfront before giving you an in-home estimate, they’re most likely fraudulent – especially if they ask you to pay for an estimate on top of everything.

Reputable companies won’t ask you to sign a contract or pay anything before giving you an accurate in-home estimate before giving you a definitive price.

Looking for the best professional movers near you? Avoid scams and use Morse Moving & Storage for your next relocation. From residential to commercial, we’ll have your moving needs taken care of!

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