BBB: Moving this summer? Be alert for ‘mover scams’ before you pack up and leave


In what some are calling the “Great Reshuffling,” 11 percent of Americans moved in 2020 as the pandemic continued raging across the world, a new survey reports. (Getty Images)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — With graduations, colleges accepting new students and businesses looking for new employees, the month of May often brings about a higher rate of moving, according to the Better Business Bureau. May is also marked as National Moving Month and has been since 1997.

According to BBB statistics, 38% of all business profile views on were for moving companies, making moving the third most-viewed industry in the nation in 2020.

However, more than $230,000 was lost to fraudulent moving companies during the year. The BBB emphasized caution when hiring a moving company.

The BBB said, as more people move during the summer, the amount of moving scams also increases.

Examples of moving scams, according to BBB:

  • Consumers receive a quote and pay a deposit, but the “movers” never show up.
  • The moving company provides a quote based on expected weight and, after loading the truck, they inform the consumer that the load is over the expected weight and an additional fee will have to be paid. Most of the time, the additional fee is significantly more expensive per pound, sometimes as much as double the original estimate. 
  • The most disruptive and difficult to anticipate moving scam is when everything appears to be going well. The movers provide an estimate, arrive on time and load your belongings on a truck. However, this is where the interaction turns disastrous. When the truck fails to arrive at its destination, either your belongings are simply gone or the company requires the consumer to pay an additional fee to have them delivered, holding the possessions hostage. 

The Better Business Bureau recommends staying alert for warning signs before deciding on a moving company.

They said a company’s website should provide information like a physical address or a mover’s registration and insurance. They must provide the proper policies to protect a consumer’s belongings.

BBB also suggests being wary of unusual requests, like a large down payment or full payment in advance.

They suggest getting everything in writing; from licensing, terms and conditions, as well as the limits by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration which is able to be verified through the website.

For more information about mover scams, contact BBB or visit their website.

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