How to recognize fraudulent movers?

Moving Tips - November 7, 2018

Even though most of the moving companies in the country run a trust-worthy business, there is always a risk of running to some bad ones. In the sea of moving companies and their attractive offers, you need to be smart and choose the best one for you. However, this doesn’t mean that the offer that seems the most attractive is actually the best. Sometimes, low pricing or unreasonable offers lure people to become the victims of the moving fraud. How to know that you are dealing with fraudulent movers? Check out this guide on how to recognize them easily. However, to save yourself some time, you can easily choose Wolley Movers as your safe and dependable choice.

Where to look for fraudulent movers signals?

When checking if a moving company is suspicious or not, here is where to look.

Online

The Internet can be a great source of information. You can read reviews, complaints, check contact information without leaving your home. However, don’t take this place for granted. Some of the information can be fake and unrealistic ratings. Always go for the trustworthy websites that publish honest reviews written by the customers.

man browsing web on a tablet
Online reviews can help you spot fraudulent movers

People you know

Word of mouth is probably the best way to find out about a moving company. Ask your friends, family or people you work with about their moving experiences. Sometimes, they can share their negative experiences, so you can stay away from that fraudulent movers.

girls looking at their phones
Your friends or family can share negative experiences and help you avoid fraudulent movers

How does a fake review look like?

When reading all those online reviews, there are some signals that can tell you that a review is fake and is written by the company itself, and not by a customer. Here are some of the red flags when it comes to online reviews:

  1. The review is way too positive or negative. Too positive experience can be really suspicious and unrealistic. Furthermore, a too negative review with a lot of offensive words and little useful information can be a sign of a fake experience.
  2. The review is too universal and broad or gives too many details. Both of these characteristics are signs of a fake review. Using too many details to convince a potential customer is something you should avoid when reading reviews.
  3. The language looks fake – a true review is written in the language of ordinary people. If the language is unnatural or includes weird punctuation, it is probably not genuine.

What are the signs of fraudulent movers and how to recognize them?

After you choose a couple of moving companies to require estimates from, now is the time to check them. First of all, be sure to have a couple of choices. Contact at least three moving companies to give you their offer and the moving quote. This way you will be able to compare and easily spot both good and bad companies. Next, look for these signs if you want to spot fraudulent movers.

Do they have a proper license?

Before you say yes to their offer, feel free to check if the company has a proper license and insurance. You can, of course, ask them, but you can also check by yourself. Every interstate moving company needs to be registered and have their own US DOT number. You can check their number at the FMCSA website. However, if you plan on hiring a local moving company, (check out our local moving services Chicago) you should know that each state has its own regulations that you can check.

Do they offer you a proper moving quote?

A trustworthy moving company will do an on-site visit to your home and give you a proper moving quote. Of course, you can get a free moving quote, but that is just a rough idea of what your costs will be. A proper moving company will give you the specific moving estimate and explain the details if you ask them to. Avoid incomplete estimates and rough contract or blank documents. Never sign documents you don’t understand and ask for the copy of the contract.

man signing a contract - best way to avoid fraudulent movers
Suspicious contracts can be a sign for fraudulent movers

Do they have a “normal” pricing?

Average pricing is not a definite sign of a good company, but you should avoid suspicious prices as well. This includes way too high or way too low numbers. Sometimes, fraudulent movers use low prices to attract potential victims. That’s why you need to have a couple of options when it comes to moving companies, so you can compare the pricing and see what are the average numbers.

Can you visit their offices?

A trustworthy company will promote their office address and other contact information. You should be able to visit their offices and have their phone number and email address. Furthermore, professional moving companies will care about the branding, too. This means that they should have marked vehicles, a good website and social network profiles where you can contact them and communicate with their customers.

movers trucks
A professional moving company should have marked vehicles, offices, and website

Do they ask for a lot of money in advance?

Fraudulent movers will probably ask you to pay a large cash deposit. Consider this an important red flag and avoid giving a lot of cash in advance.

When you can file a complaint?

It happens. You haven’t read the signs and you hired one of the fraudulent movers. Here are the situations where you can cancel the moving company, or if you already paid, you can file a complaint.

  1. your items are not delivered on time – call the company first. Try to find out what happened, and ask for the compensation.
  2. your items are damaged/lost – good companies have insurance so this situation doesn’t have to be a big problem. However, fraudulent movers will not pay for the damaged items.
  3. they ask you to pay more than estimated before. If they don’t want to give you your items before you pay, feel free to call the police. Just try to stay calm and don’t overreact or act too emotionally.

If you recognize your problem with some of these situations you can always contact the Better Business Bureau to help you deal with the movers. However, be sure to follow our guide to avoid problems like this! Good luck!

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