How to Spot & Avoid a Moving Scam

When you’re completing a relocation, one of the best ways to simplify the process and reduce your stress is to enlist the help of a professional moving company.

These companies can transport your items, provide packing services, or offer secure and reliable storage for your belongings — all useful elements that can transform your moving experience. However, not every moving company can provide you with the helpful services and positive encounters you’re looking for.

Unfortunately, it has become entirely necessary to carefully vet a moving company and assess its quality and legitimacy before working with them. Why? Sadly, many companies who claim to be high-quality, trustworthy movers are actually scammers or what has come to be known as rogue movers.

These scammers are the antithesis of the average moving company that strives to provide their customers with high-quality moving solutions, and instead, they seek to steal money or belongings from unsuspecting individuals who thought they were a reputable moving company. 

How to Spot Moving Scams

The presence of these rogue movers presents the question: “How can I spot and avoid a moving scam?”. The good news is that these fraudulent companies aren’t undetectable by any means, instead presenting various red flags that can alert customers before signing a contract or paying any money.

Curious about the best ways to keep yourself safe from these scammers? Keep reading, and discover seven of the most common warning signs to keep an eye out for!

  • Suspicious Payment Requirements

One of the easiest ways to detect a moving scam is through the ways they ask for payment or how much they ask you to pay upfront.

If they require a cash payment or don’t accept credit cards, this is always a warning sign. This means they will have an easy way to take your money and run, rather than being traceable or allowing you to request a refund through your bank. 

Another common tactic is to ask for a large sum of money upfront before any services are actually provided to you. Most moving companies do not require a deposit at the time of booking, and if they do, a reputable company will usually only request a small fraction of your total cost. A request for cash upfront should always be declined to avoid any potential scams.

  • Incomplete Estimates

When your Ohio movers complete your in-home estimate, you should expect them to assess the items you will be moving through a thorough walk-through of your home.

The mark of a high-quality estimate is that your moving representative will take the time to evaluate everything completely and ask the necessary questions to get a clear picture of your move. Without these elements, the movers can’t possibly grasp your relocation and how much it will tentatively cost. 

If the moving company you’re considering doesn’t thoroughly complete your estimate or even skips the in-person estimate overall, this is a serious red flag and should probably push you away from the company as a whole. There is a lot of value and importance to the in-home estimate, as it’s the only way to gain an understanding of what your move will fully entail.

  • Shockingly Low Estimates

If a moving company provides you with a surprisingly low estimate, it probably seems too good to be true, that’s because it is too good to be true.

Although finding a reasonable price is an important part of the process of searching for movers, an outlandishly low rate is never a positive sign. You should always be suspicious when this happens, and to ensure you have a better understanding of the right price for the job, be sure to request quotes from various companies to gain a thorough picture of the market price.

Oftentimes, companies that provide customers with these low estimates end up pulling bait-and-switch schemes. This involves providing a low quote at first but then demanding a much greater price once your belongings are delivered, claiming that the job was bigger than they anticipated. 

  • Lacks Proper Certifications

Any reputable moving company you would want to work with will have all the proper certifications and licenses to be in business. You should be able to easily find a company’s United States Department of Transportation number online on their website.

You should also check that the company is a licensed mover in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration database.

In addition to these forms of authentication, it’s critical to check that the company is in good standing with the Better Business Bureau, as this is extremely telling of the quality of the movers’ services.

  • Missing Paperwork

Although this might seem obvious, it’s always crucial to be cognizant of the contract a moving company is providing to you.

Of course, if a company isn’t providing you with any written contract at all, that is a major red flag and should be completely avoided. However, another important warning sign to look out for is incomplete paperwork. Sometimes, these scammers will leave sections of a contract blank, allowing them to take advantage of aspects that aren’t outlined. 

Having a thorough contract that details all aspects of your move is critical to avoiding a moving scam. These contracts can be your saving grace to ensure everything is documented and in writing if there are any disputes with the movers or discrepancies in what was expected by both parties. Take extra care to review your contract thoroughly before signing.

  • Constant Name Changes

If a company has a history of various name changes, this is a major warning sign. Oftentimes, scammers will change their name to avoid being tied to negative reviews or any bad standing with the Better Business Bureau. When they change their name, it makes the company a lot more difficult to trace and prevents customers from gaining a clear understanding of the company’s quality.

If you find name changes in the history of a company you’re interested in working with, use careful judgment to discern if the company is trustworthy, and always err on the side of caution.

  • Unavailable Contact Information

One final warning sign is a lack of physical address or phone number. Every reputable moving company needs a physical location tied to it, providing them a place to house their supplies, meet with customers, and receive customer phone calls, among other tasks. Without this physical location, it can be difficult to trust the credibility of a company.

Additionally, the company should always have a working phone number that is manned by an actual human — not a robot — during business hours. If you’re unable to reach a human at this phone number, don’t proceed with the company, as it could likely be a scam.

Work With an Akron Moving Company You Can Trust

Now that you’re aware of the various risks that exist in the moving industry, you’re better equipped to deal with any potential scams that come your way. 

As you go about your relocation process, if you’re searching for moving companies in Akron, rely on a company you can trust and opt for RLD Relocation & Logistics.

We’ve provided our community and beyond with high-quality, dependable moving solutions since 1978, and we dedicate ourselves to keeping our customers satisfied every time. 

When you need an Akron moving company, we’re the movers for you! Request a free quote today, and find out more about our affordable rates.

Accredited Moving Services & Community Affiliations

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