Watch For These 3 Costly Scams By Moving Companies

Moving is an incredibly stressful experience, and hiring of the local Moving Companies can be a tremendous help. Unfortunately, there are many who try to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers through moving company scams. These scams can put you out hundreds or thousands of dollars, and will add to the headache of an already painful process. Read below for more information on scams to watch for and how to avoid becoming a victim.

1The Hit and Run Scam

The hit and run scam is a quick and easy technique for illegitimate Moving Companies. The Mover will request an extremely large deposit for the moving service. When the consumer pays (almost always in cash), the moving company takes the money and runs. Never to be seen or heard from again. Where does this leave you? Waiting around for packers who never show up.

The red flags to watch for include the following:

  • Moving Companies that provides an online or phone “estimate” without sending an employee to your home;
  • A company that demands a large deposit or payment before work is performed in cash;
  • A company with no reviews or that can provide no references.

Make sure to ask loved ones for recommendations, read reviews, and research business ratings online before sending any money to a moving company.  In addition to asking for referrals from friends, ask your real estate agent.  He or she should have a good contact in the moving industry.

2The Hidden Fees Scam

In this scam, Moving Companies will provide packing and pick-up services, but before final delivery of goods, will give an “updated” amount due that significantly exceeds your estimate. The company will refuse to deliver your belongings until after the additional fees have been paid.

The fees can include things that the company claims were not on the original estimate, such as packing and move out of a two-story residence, fragile items, services exceeding estimated time, or excessive weight of household goods. The consumer is then forced to either pay the additional fees or wait until the dispute is mediated – a lengthy process most are unwilling to do in these circumstances.

Watch for these warning signs:

  • Companies that send a move estimator who only takes a cursory look at your items,
  • Who doesn’t ask about the new residence, or
  • Who tries to provide a “blank” contract or verbal estimate.

Only sign a contract when all of your costs are clearly in writing. Carefully review any “fine print” and demand the company provide a final, all-inclusive cost. Keep a copy of the contract with you during the move in case any issues arise.

3The Lost and Damaged Goods Scam

While missing or damaged goods may not be a “company-wide” issue, packers and movers with sticky fingers can still create a huge problem for consumers. In the end, the company may also shirk responsibility for this.

In this scam, your beloved household items may be subject to rough treatment or theft. This results in items going missing and needing to be claimed. Some moving companies may even have fine-print clauses that exempt them from liability for certain items, such as memorabilia or high-price equipment. When these items end up missing or damaged, the consumer is simply out of luck.

Make sure to document carefully all items in your home before packing commences. Compare your list to the packing list generated by the company. Watch carefully during packing to ensure items are adequately handled. Make sure that any items that are excluded from damage liability stay with you at all times during the move. When your items are delivered, follow the inventory list carefully as items come in. Make sure to promptly unpack and document any items that are missing or damaged, along with providing pictures or receipts if needed. Finally, file your claim timely, as many companies will provide a set amount of time to do so before eligibility for a claim expires.

Before you move, make sure to educate yourself on the most reputable moving companies in your area. Be diligent about the signs that a scam is taking place, communicate with your moving company, and get everything in writing. By doing so, you can make sure this process runs as smoothly as possible and that you are not faced with paying for inadequate services.

Listen to the latest Podcast Episode

Podcast available on most pod-listeners.


  1. There are so many shady moving companies these days so it’s best to check reviews on Yelp or Angie’s List. Make sure to contact a reputable moving company for a stress-free move.

  2. I did not know that moving could be a pain in the ass. No thanks to these moving companies scams. Is there like a website that compose of reputable moving companies? Be careful guys in paying such large amount of moneys from moving companies that you don’t have any idea.

  3. This is a very helpful blog. It is sad if you ever get scam like this because you can do nothing about it after paying. I guess the best thing that you can do is ask friends or relatives on a reputable moving companies. Ask those that have experience with a moving companies already.

  4. This is why I don’t trust moving companies. I have had some bad experiences with them in the past and I swore to myself that I will never hire a moving company again.

  5. True! Scammers are everywhere wearing those masks of deceit just to take advantages of innocent people. This served as a warning to everybody out there.

  6. This article is very helpful. Reminds all of us to be more careful in choosing a moving company. It’s really hard to trust anyone these days.

  7. Scams exist even in the tiniest details. Great advice though It can be applied not just in these companies but for others too.

  8. Wow, I think the worst is the hidden fees scam. Once they have your things they have all the power. I’ll be sure to do my research before hiring any shady movers.

  9. Scams exist even in moving stuff? That is just low I mean what if the client is poor? Example they will still steal from that? Its heartless.

  10. See this is why it’s hard for me to trust anybody. Some of my friends think I’m just being paranoid, but this article proves that this stuff really goes on more often than most people may realize. I’ll show them your article and rub it all in their face! 😉

  11. Great article, thanks for warning the public! I know about some of these scams like the “hidden fee” scam. A lot of companies are known to do this and you really have to watch them, ask questions and even read the small print to catch them. Some of these other scams I wasn’t really hip to, but I am now, thanks!

    • Yes, the problem is that in many places, Moving Companies are not well regulated. Anyone can call themselves a ‘Mover’. Be careful out there…


CommentLuv badge