Moving to a new home is an exciting chapter, but the process of finding a reliable moving company can be daunting. Unfortunately, the moving industry is not immune to scams, making it essential for you to be vigilant and take proactive steps to protect yourself. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to avoid moving scams and ensure a seamless relocation.

1. Confirm the Mover Has Their Own Trucks:
One red flag for potential moving scams is when a company acts as a broker rather than having its own fleet of trucks. Brokers act as intermediaries, subcontracting your move to another company, often leading to communication gaps and increased risks. Ensure the moving company you choose has its own trucks and staff to handle your relocation from start to finish.

2. Check BBB and Yelp Reviews:
Before committing to a moving company, do your due diligence by checking reviews on reputable platforms such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Yelp. Genuine customer feedback provides valuable insights into the company’s reputation and the quality of their services. Pay attention to any patterns of complaints or consistently negative reviews.

3. Verify the Actual Moving Company’s Location and Warehouse:
Scammers may operate without a physical address or a proper warehouse, making it challenging to hold them accountable. Verify the moving company’s physical location and, if possible, visit their office or warehouse in person. A legitimate company will have a tangible presence, giving you confidence in their professionalism and commitment to your move.

4. For Out-of-State Moves, Find a Local Moving Company:
When moving across state lines, consider hiring a local moving company in your current location to handle the packing and loading. This approach minimizes the risk of scams, as you’re dealing with an established company and it provides better control over the moving process.

5. Obtain In-Person Estimates:
Avoid moving companies that provide estimates over the phone/online without seeing your belongings in person or doing a virtual survey using your cell phone as video. A reputable company will conduct an on-site inspection in person or virtually to assess the volume and nature of your items, ensuring a more accurate estimate. This also allows you to gauge the professionalism of the moving team. Since COVID-19 this has become a new norm, but Premier Relocations still does a full virtual walkthrough of the home with customers. Getting an in home estimate is the best option.

6. Ask for References:
A trustworthy moving company will readily provide references from previous clients. Contact these references to inquire about their experiences, the efficiency of the move, and any issues encountered. Hearing firsthand accounts will help you make an informed decision about the reliability of the moving company.

7. Verify Credentials:
Confirm that the moving company is licensed and insured. You can check their credentials with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for interstate moves or the relevant state agency for local moves. This ensures that the company operates legally and meets specific industry standards.

8. Check for Red Flags:
Be alert to potential warning signs, such as generic company names, lack of a physical address, or a refusal to provide references. Legitimate companies are transparent and happy to answer your questions.

9. Understand the Contract:
Read the contract thoroughly before signing. Ensure that all services, fees, and delivery dates are clearly outlined. Pay attention to any fine print, and don’t hesitate to ask questions about any terms that seem unclear.

10. Stay Involved:
Throughout the moving process, stay actively involved. Keep a detailed inventory of your items, take note of the condition of your belongings before and after the move, and document any damages.

By following these precautions, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to moving scams. Your move should be a positive and stress-free experience, and with careful research and consideration, you can ensure that you’re entrusting your belongings to a reputable and reliable moving company.