Moving to a new place can be an exciting experience, say, for example, moving from Bay Area to San Diego. But it also comes with its fair share of challenges.
One of the biggest concerns for many people is falling victim to moving company scams and losing money, housing, or other resources. In this article, we will explore the various types of scams that people may encounter when moving and provide helpful tips on how to avoid them.
From fake moving companies to fraudulent rental listings, we will cover the most common tricks used by scammers and offer practical advice on how to protect yourself during the moving process.
By being aware of the below potential pitfalls and taking steps to avoid them, you can ensure a smooth and stress-free move to your new home.
5 Most Common Moving Scams
- The cursory glance
One of the most common scams that people encounter when moving is the cursory glance. This is when a moving company offers you a quote over the phone or through email without ever seeing your belongings in person.
They may ask you a few questions about the size of your home and the number of items you have, but they won’t take the time to inspect your belongings or assess your needs properly. As a result, they may underestimate the amount of work required or fail to account for additional fees, such as packing costs or long-distance charges.
To avoid falling victim to this moving scam, always insist on an in-home estimate. A reputable moving company will send a representative to your home to assess your needs and provide an accurate quote based on the size and weight of your belongings.
- The “required” deposit
Another common moving scam people encounter is the “required” deposit. Some moving companies may ask for a deposit upfront before they start the job, claiming that it is necessary to secure your booking or cover their expenses.
However, once they have your money, they may disappear or demand additional payments before completing the job.
To avoid falling victim to this moving scam, never pay a deposit upfront unless you have thoroughly researched the company and verified its credentials.
A reputable moving company will not ask for a deposit until they have assessed your needs and provided you with a detailed quote.
- The name change
Some moving companies may change their name frequently to avoid negative reviews or legal action. They may operate under multiple names or use a different name each time they advertise their services. This makes it difficult for customers to track their history or file complaints if something goes wrong.
If you want to avoid falling victim to this type of moving scam, always research the company thoroughly before hiring them. Check their website, social media profiles, and online reviews to ensure that they have a consistent history and positive reputation.
If you notice any red flags, such as multiple name changes or negative reviews, consider hiring a different moving company.
- Packing costs
Inflated packing costs are among the most common moving scams that people encounter.
Some moving companies may charge exorbitant fees for packing materials or claim that they need to use special equipment to move your belongings safely. However, these costs may be unnecessary or significantly higher than the industry standard.
You can avoid falling victim to this type of moving scam by always asking for a detailed breakdown of the packing costs before agreeing to hire a moving company.
Compare their fees to other companies in the industry and ask for recommendations from friends or family members who have recently moved.
- Other extra fees
Some moving companies may add extra fees to your bill without warning or justification. These fees may include charges for stairs, long carries, or difficult access to your property.
However, these fees may be inflated or unnecessary, and you may not have agreed to them upfront.
To avoid falling victim to this common moving scam, always read the fine print of your contract carefully before signing it.
Additionally, if, for example, you are moving from San Francisco to Orange County, you can ask the moving company to explain any additional fees or charges upfront and ensure that they are included in your quote.
Moving scams can be costly and stressful, but they can be avoided with some research and due diligence.
Always research the moving company thoroughly before hiring them, ask for an in-home estimate, and read the terms and conditions of your contract carefully.
By taking these steps, you will avoid moving scams and hire trusted companies, thus ensuring a smooth and stress-free move to your new home.
This is a contributed post.
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