Consumer Alert: Moving? Here’s a new tool to research your mover and avoid a scam

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The weather is warming, and that means we’re approaching moving season.  There are few things in life more stressful than packing all your earthly belongings into a truck and watching a stranger drive away with everything you own.  Now imagine that mover holds your belongings hostage and charge you astronomical additional fees to get your stuff back.

That happens every day across the country.  Certainly, I’ve investigated more than my share of moving scams.  Very often, not only is the mover a scammer, but also the broker you’ve chosen to connect you with a reputable local mover.  Finally, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has launched a database to empower consumers. You can look up your mover’s complaint history.

The agency has also launched a nationwide crackdown on moving scams.  Investigators are yanking their licenses and referring criminals to the Department of Justice.  While FMCSA’s crackdown is welcome, the onus is still on the consumer to do your research before you hire a mover.  Here are red flags of a moving scam:

  • The mover offers you a low estimate over the phone without visiting your home to see your furniture and belongings.
  • Once your belongings are on the truck, the mover finds some excuse to ask for more money.
  • The mover holds your belongings hostage, demanding more money before they will give them back.

If you’ve been scammed by a mover, you should immediately report it.  Click here for the complaint form.