Consumer Network has reported the following: Younger people report losing money to fraud more often than older people. But when people aged 70+ had a loss, the median loss was much greater.[i]
“In particular, more than 5,900 consumers filed moving fraud complaints with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in 2018, with 39 percent reporting lost or damaged property and 57 percent claiming report overcharges.”[ii]
In order to protect yourself against moving scams it is best to know what red flags to look for and to thoroughly vet vendors before using them.
Here is a list of common moving frauds[iii]:
Moving Deposits - Typically, you pay the moving company upon the delivery of your things for an agreed amount outlined in a detailed contract. When you do settle your bill, you should use a debit or credit card (a good way to have a payment record) and never pay in cash.
Estimations - A common scam is the estimation bait and switch and this is how it works: A company will give you a too-good-to-be-true estimate over the phone or online without ever stepping foot inside your home. Once your belongings are packed onto the truck, they demand a much larger sum of money before they will deliver or release your things, forcing you to fork over the cash out of desperation. Solution: When vetting moving companies, make sure they agree to an in-home evaluation and provide a written estimate for the move.
Contracts - Keep your eyes open for contracts that are not fully executed or contain complex language that's hard to understand. And don’t be afraid to ask questions.
No Physical Address
In this day when most of our advertising is done over the internet is easy for a scammer to use only a website address or even just a phone number. Be certain they have a physical address for their company.
As a reassurance to you, below I have listed some advice from the Better Business Bureau[iv]:
Watch out for signs of a fly-by-night company. Look out for company websites that have no address and no information about a mover's registration or insurance.
Be wary of unusual requests. If a mover asks for a large down payment or full payment in advance, that may be a warning sign. And if a company says it won’t return your items to you without more money than you agreed to pay, contact BBB or local law enforcement for help.
Make sure you have an inventory of your belongings.
IF YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’VE BEEN SCAMMED
Here is a link to
BBB Scam tracker where you can report a scam: https://www.bbb.org/scamtracker/us
INTERIORS FOR SENIORS – A REPUTABLE MOVING COMPANY
Missy Donaghy has been a Certified Senior Move Manager for over 10 years and was recently awarded Diamond Status with the National Association of Move Managers (NASMM www.nasmm.org). She has extensive experience with organizing, managing estates and moving services for a multitude of clients.
« Call Missy Donaghy with Interiors for Seniors for a FREE consultation 321-279-3301.