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Nov 13, 16:01
Question by amccauley (Amy)

How do I avoid a moving scam?

Hi! I am planning a move soon. After researching MANY moving companies through the and Internet consumer review sites, I am now aware of myriad problems that can occur when moving -- bait-and-switch scams seem all too common. I feel I am in a very vulnerable position and have no real protection in trusting a mover with my personal items. Do you have any suggestions for choosing a good mover?

Nov 14, 13:18
Answer by cmorris (Charlie Morris)


It sounds like you’ve done most of the commonsensical things. Here are some other things to do: You’ve probably gotten in-home estimates from at least 3 companies; that’s important so they can see exactly what you have to move. Now throw out any incredibly low bids – low-bidding the move and then adding more costs later is a common tactic of moving scams. The vast majority of the people who get scammed went with the ridiculously low bid. If you avoid that mistake, you’re well on your way to a satisfying move.

When you have the moving company in your home, you want to ask very specific questions. For example, ask for references from recurring business. You want to find someone who trusts the company so much that they regularly use them. Businesses are good indicators of this. Here’s a link for an additional set of questions for your mover.

When checking out moving companies, always try to work with a local firm. It makes it easier to check them out, and you can usually find locals who can give you verifiable testimonials. You might also want to consider a van line – think of the van line agent as a moving company that’s gone through a first screen.

Also make sure you’re working with the company that will do the move and NOT a moving broker, which farms out the work to moving companies. These often don’t end well. How do you know it’s a moving company? Check out the physical business itself – visit the facilities. It’s a pain, sure, but it will help put your mind at ease. Get everything in writing, and know what all the paperwork means.

We should point out that it’s easy to find scary stories about moving companies. But rest assured, most moving companies are legitimate and want to do good work. You will find them (particularly if you avoid those companies giving you low-ball bids).


Good luck with your move,

Charlie Morris @

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