How to Protect Yourself from Nationwide Moving Fraud
Almost everyone hires a nationwide moving company at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, moving scams are surprisingly common. To protect yourself from fraud, it’s important to know about the regulations that Florida moving companies are required to follow, as well as knowing about some of the most common types of moving fraud.
How Do Moving Scams Work?
Moving is a stressful experience, and unfortunately, there are many people out there who prey on people during their move. Here’s some information about how these scams work.
In many cases, scammers source their marks through the Internet. There are illegitimate moving broker sites where you can fill out forms with basic information about your move, then that information is sent off to “moving companies” that compete for your business. While some moving brokers are really legitimate businesses, many are not. It’s such a major problem within the moving industry that the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation released an investigative report about the phenomenon in 2015.
The moving company that wins the job will often quote by cubic footage, which is not standard in the nationwide moving industry. Most reputable moving companies, ourselves included, quote by weight. If a moving company quotes by cubic footage, it can be a sign that something’s not right.
Their estimates are also very off-base. Now, if you get a free non-binding estimate from a nationwide moving company in Florida, it can sometimes be a little less than you actually end up paying. This is why it’s a non-binding estimate, not a binding estimate. However, your final cost from a legitimate moving company will rarely be more than 110%.
In many cases, the scammers will also demand payment in cash. This is actually a violation of Florida law, which requires moving companies to accept several types of payment. They can also take a long time to deliver your goods, and if you don’t pay them, your belongings may be held hostage. This, too, is generally illegal.
Common Types of Moving Scams
There are a few specific types of moving scams that are surprisingly common. These are some of them.
- Fake reviews and credentials. Scammers will sometimes fake their credentials, and create or buy fake positive reviews. It’s important to look at third party sites, as well as testimonials on a company’s own website, to get a balanced idea of their quality.
- Low-ball estimates. Fraudulent nationwide movers often lure in their marks with very low estimates, then charge much more when it’s time to actually deliver the shipment. You should get estimates from more than one company before your move, and avoid companies whose quote is suspiciously low.
- Holding your goods hostage. Scammers may also hold your belongings hostage until you pay them a ridiculous amount of money. This is almost always in violation of state and federal laws, and you can report it to the police as theft.
Reputable Nationwide Movers in Southwest Ranches
Looking for a reputable nationwide moving company? At Orange Movers, we provide moving services throughout the Miami area. Call us any time to find out more or to schedule an estimate for your move.