How to Distinguish Fraudulent Moving Operators from Legitimate Moving Companies

How to Distinguish Fraudulent Moving Operators from Legitimate Moving Companies

Do not fall victim to fraudulent movers. According to FMCSA or the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the primary agency in charge of protecting the consumers of interstate moving companies, despite their vigilance, there are still companies that take advantage of people who are in dire need of a mover.

FMCSA keeps tab on rogue or criminal movers who take advantage of vulnerable customers and practice on the verge of the federal law. These fraudulent movers are very elusive, do fly-by-night operations, and use tricky bait and switch techniques to trick and deceive their customers for thousands of dollars every day.

The setup

Because moving will need the full attention of the customers, from planning, packing, to the preparation, criminal movers will attempt to earn the client’s trust by offering a low price in their services and will most likely to neglect discussing the terms and conditions of their services until the entire household is packed in their trucks.

When everything is inside their vans and trucks, this is the time they will change the price of the move, adding ridiculous amounts of extra charges. It is either you pay the amount they charge in full, or they will hold your belongings as a hostage.

Take, for example, if you are moving from New Jersey to New York City, this movers will offer you a very affordable price for their services, after you load the items to their trucks they will now give you additional charges that are not on your initial negotiations. Of course, you will contest that.

But they will threaten not to deliver your items if you will not pay. What else can you do but pay the amount they are asking. Whatever tactics they used, one thing is very sure, the price of the move will change, and you will end up paying more than what they offer you at the start of your negotiation, to get your valuable items back.

Beware of suspicious bids

A legitimate moving estimate is a critical differentiator between a legit long-distance moving company and a fraudulent, criminal, fly-by-night moving operator. Legit interstate movers are going to take a full survey of your items and ask significant questions about your packing, planning and most importantly the delivery of your belongings to your new house.

You need to be very careful about the details and do some due diligence in researching to spot the trick these criminal movers use before you become one of their victims.

Protect your belongings

With due diligence, you can make sure that you are getting the moving service from respectable movers at the same time avoid some unfortunate consequences when dealing whit these fraudulent operators. You have to check with the AMSA or the American Moving and Storage Association.

The organization is keeping an eye on all professional movers that are certified to do local or interstate moving. Check if the companies you are hiring are accredited. You can also ask the people you know of any references. And lastly, document every little thing.

After the movers deliver your belongings, you only have nine months to contest and report any loss or damage to your delivered items. Write a written claim for damage or loss of your items. Note ever problems from the mover’s copy of inventory before you sign anything. The movers will have 30 days to acknowledge the receipt of the claim.

The movers then have 120 days to either offer a reasonable amount to pay your items or deny the request. It is easier for them to deny your claim if you do not have any kind of documentation or if you do not have any proof that your items are not damaged before it was loaded to their trucks.