7 Most Common Moving Scams and How to Avoid Them

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Unfortunately, we live in a world where moving scams became a part of everyday life. Since it is hard to recognize a potential fraud, many people are not even aware they are being tricked until it’s too late. What you can do is to learn how to recognize them on time. You have to stay aware of the fact that anyone can become a victim and that these situations are very common. This convenient article will show you some usual signs of a scam and ways to react in those situations.

Keep in mind things mentioned in this article will help you recognize suspicious situations that can but don’t necessarily have to be signs of a scam. There are some things you can do to double-check these companies and save yourself from potential financial losses. The best way to stay comfortable and safe during your local relocation is to hire a trustworthy licensed company such as Professional Sacramento Movers.

Is It Better to Move Yourself or Hire Movers?

There is no simple answer to this question – sometimes, people find it easier to do everything on their own. In most cases, people lack the knowledge and experience needed for relocating fragile inventory and bulky objects, not to mention the lack of professional equipment. If you are one of these people and don’t feel comfortable going through this process alone, the best way to avoid relocation stress is to hire professionals.

Once you have your going away party and make a to-do list with all of the actions you need to take, only you can decide if doing that on your own is possible. In case that you don’t know how to pack to move in a hurry and have to move on a budget, professional assistance can offer you convenient solutions. The right movers in Sacramento can show you some interesting relocation hacks and help you move efficiently.

Professionals in action
Hiring professionals has many advantages

#1 Common Name Changes Are Typical for Scams

Company name seems suspicious? This is a severe red flag. Frequent name changes, even if we’re not talking about a scam, are unprofessional and don’t give the impression of a reliable, trustworthy company. Think of your chosen company as someone who is in charge of handling your most valued belongings, so if you can’t find any history about the agency under that name – it’s probably fake, and you’re a potential victim of fraud.

Companies Should Offer Stability

Once you find a reliable mover in your area that you like, do proper research. Who are they, what they offer, and how long they have been operating. What are their terms and policies, how do they charge? If you can’t find any info, it’s better to start exploring other companies in the industry.

Check your agency’s name and other provided details

#2 You Can Spot Fake Reviews on Their Website

Another significant issue that you might discover is loads of fake comments and reviews on their website. These comments usually seem too good to be true, and that is because they are fake. People without pictures and personal details will leave long reviews talking about their amazing experience and unrealistically great terms they got offered. They can even include parts where professionals did favors for free as bait. Don’t let this trick you into thinking that they are perfect.

Check Other Reliable Resources With Valid Information and Look for Tips on How to Spot Fake Reviews

Luckily, there are some tips you should follow to check if these reviews are real or look for real ones. Look for other resources, go to reliable websites such as Yelp, check forums, blogs, and ask your friends and family for their experiences. You might get surprised by the things you discover.

Look for reliable reviews

#3 Company Lacks a Professional Website, or It Seems Suspicious

Another major sign of a moving scam is the absence of a professional website. Apart from suspicious reviews and comments on a real website, missing one is even a bigger issue. How are you going to check the details, and where are you going to look for them? We’re living times when most of the businesses have professional and informative websites that contain all details about their services. There you’re supposed to find everything that you want to know about the company. If they don’t have one, how can you learn more about them? If their number pops out as an ad on some other website, make sure you look for more information online before calling them.

Look for Online Information and Make Sure to Check Their US DOT Number and MC Licence

Apart from looking for online information on their website, you need to check if your chosen agency has a registered US DOT number and MC Licence. Without that, unfortunately, there is a severe chance that you’ll become a part of moving fraud. If you can’t find details about their registration and license, reach out to them and feel free to ask about it before taking any other steps.

A couple going through some files
Double check everything before you book a date

#4 Movers Don’t Want to Perform an Online Inspection of Your Goods Before Offering a Quote

If the agency insists that a home inspection of your goods isn’t necessary and that they can give you estimated quotes without checking your household inventory, this can seem very unprofessional. It’s also a sign that they want to trick you into making a deal so that later they have an excuse for charging extra rates. If you have some special and valuable items, you need to check what items movers won’t move. They need to guide you throughout the process and give you all the necessary instructions, which can be extremely hard if they don’t know anything about your inventory.

You Should Have Live Contact Before the Move and Inspection at Home, Especially if Something Seems Suspicious

If you don’t feel comfortable with the provided facts, you should call them and suggest a meeting with them. The least you can do is to call them before making any arrangements. One of their responsibilities is to make a contract where they’ll include everything they offer and clearly state all the details.

Professionals should inspect your household inventory

#5 Lack of a Contract and Other Documents

Making a deal without a contract is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. If they offer you something and only guarantee you your rights with their words, you shouldn’t be very trustful. Ask them if they need your documents, and feel free to ask for a contract. If they don’t give you an explanation or tell you that this step isn’t necessary, don’t get tricked. You must know the exact terms of your collaboration, and they need to have your signature and other information if they want to follow law obligations.

Always Check Everything in the Contract Twice Before Signing

Even if they offer you a contract, you need to stay extra careful about it. For example, you have to pay attention to the fine print. Some companies tend to trick innocent customers by adding some extra charges or leaving opened options in the fine print. There, they can write something undetermined like – if the terms change, we have the right to charge extra fees. Ensure that everything in your contract is clear and that there won’t be any additional fees at the end, at least if you disagree with them later on.

Make sure to check every aspect of your contract

#6 Unprofessional Equipment and Lack of Skills and Knowledge

Nothing screams unprofessional more than lack of knowledge and experience. If people that show up at your home don’t have uniforms, don’t use professional quality equipment, or you simply feel like they don’t know what they are doing, this could be another red flag. We’re not saying that you have to be too harsh on them, but if someone is new to their job, they usually team up with experts to learn during the process and that the customers don’t feel like they aren’t in reliable hands.

Professionals Should Be Trained and Experienced in Providing Moving Services

Every professional should go through a training process where they can get a license and learn everything they need to know in order to provide the best quality service. Check for their licenses and don’t trust them if they seem unprofessional. This might be your last chance to cancel the move before it’s too late.

Wrapping furniture
If your crew doesn’t use the right equipment and acts unprofessional, think twice before leaving your belongings with them

#7 Unrealistically Low Quotes and Large Deposits

The last but not the least important issue when it comes to frauds is pricing. If your chosen movers offer you unrealistically low prices before the beginning of the process, you should be suspicious. What can you expect from services that are significantly cheaper than any other? Be realistic, no one will offer you that kind of service for free.

Another frequent suspicious situation is when professionals demand unrealistically large deposits. These amounts are usually more than half of the price of the complete move. You shouldn’t agree to pay this amount of money before your move is over. Also, make sure that insurance is included in the final price before the move, so they can’t trick you after if something gets broken. If you need to move a piano, or other valuables, make sure you include the exact price for that service in your expenses checklist.

Check Other Companies and Compare Rates

No matter where you are based, and if that is one of the safest neighborhoods in Sacramento, with strict federal laws, there is always a chance to become a relocation scam victim. The best way to see if some terms and offered quotes are unrealistic is to compare these prices to other companies’ rates. Explore websites from agencies located in the best neighborhoods in Sacramento, and check if the price varies because of the location or there are some other dishonorable intentions. You may also wonder, do movers charge by weight or volume? This depends on their policy, so make sure to get familiar with that on time.

Compare offered estimates with other companies in your local area

What to Do if You Have Been Scammed By a Moving Company?

In case that you didn’t get the chance to read this article on time and you already feel like a victim, there are some steps you could and should take if you’ve been overcharged or your items are held hostage:

  • File a complaint with a relocation business,
  • File a complaint with an appropriate organization and support, including American Moving and Storage Association,
  • Consider taking the agency that scammed you to court.
If you’ve been scammed, you should file a federal complaint

If You Want to Avoid Moving Scams Hire a Trustworthy Moving Company in Sacramento – Professional Sacramento Movers

Who is the best moving company? We can’t give you the answer to that, but we can assure you that you won’t get scammed if you decide to rely on our Sacramento movers. We have all the right qualifications and qualities and offer you safe and affordable terms. Our Sacramento moving services include residential relocation and even commercial relocation. In case you don’t know how to pack fragile objects, have problems with packing plates, or wonder how to pack dishes, our experienced Sacramento local movers can even offer you convenient packing services. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns, and we’ll be happy to help.

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