How to Avoid Fraudulent Movers When Moving Abroad
Moving abroad can be a very challenging task. And expensive one as well. After you find a new place to live, you need to spend a small fortune on it. Especially if you are buying your first dream home. Then comes planning the move. This is where you are looking for a good long distance moving company to relocate your belongings. The first thing you are going to find out is that the market is full of this kind of agencies. Even though not all of them are doing abroad movings, there’re still many who do. Picking the most suitable one is not an easy job, particularly if you are not sure what is the key factor for making this choice. More importantly, you need to be careful and avoid fraudulent movers. Unfortunately, this kind of scam is more and more frequent nowadays.
What to look in order to avoid fraudulent movers
Even though not all of this scammers operate the same way, their goal is the same – to steal your money. Later we will go through some of the most common fraud types, but there are several things connecting them all. What is most important is for you not to fall in any of these traps. In order to deceive you, they will:
- Tell you whatever you want to hear
- Promise you unreasonable low price
- “Guarantee” irrational moving time
- Try to hide bad rating
Take into consideration experience of previous customers
If you don’t how to begin your research in order to avoid fraudulent movers, there’s one pretty good starting point. Once you find an interesting moving company, try to investigate deeper. If there is not “testimonials” section on that company’s website, it should raise a red flag. Every single good moving company is proud to display reviews of their clients and make their rating better. If movers are good, they will always put their experience as a first selling point.
On the other hand, maybe they did not have time to update the website. This is not something usual to happen, but it is still possible. There are numerous moving related forums and chat rooms where you could try to find some posts about movers you are researching. In case you do not find anything there, or even worse, you come across any bad comments, skip those movers. This is something you should use to avoid real estate scams as well.
The internet is full of advice that will help you with moving to another city. But as soon as you open your web browser, you’ll be cluttered with ads. Sometimes, this can be very useful, as you can easily find what you are looking for within them. However, do not take this for granted. Very often fraudulent moving companies are spending ridiculous amounts in order to place their ad on the top of research results. Believe it or not, this is something most of the people are falling for. Do not let yourself to become a part of that group, and pay attention to anything that will help you to avoid fraudulent movers.
Characteristics of reliable movers
Fortunately, all good, experienced and reliable movers have something in common. First, they have the license for the job. One way to check if the company has the license is to search it on the US Department of Transporation website. If you manage to spot moving company that you are investigating there, it is a good sign. Next thing you want to check is if the company has insurance policy. This means that if anything unpredicted happens to your belongings, you will be fully refunded. Besides good rating of the company and positive reviews of previous customers, these two things are very important items reliable movers will have.
Most usual scenarios of fraudulent movers
Do not fall for the scale game
There are several types of estimation, but the most common one is price based on the weight of a loaded truck. Scammers very cunningly use this circumstance in their favor. Usually, they separate you on the side, giving you papers for signing or chit-chat with you, while the truck is on the scale. Then they present you weigh much higher than the actual one and charge you extra for nothing. On the other hand, if you use the federal law to be present at the weigh, or ask for the re-weigh, scammers use the ace in the sleeve. What they are doing it those situations is that they don’t deduct the weight of the fully loaded gas tank and spare tiers. This way gas is charged double.
Last minute changes
This one is easy to recognize, but it can put you in an unenviable situation. After you agree on the price of moving and pack your things, you get a call from your movers on a moving day. They tell you that truck designated for your move is out of order, and all other trucks are unavailable. Knowing that you probably can’t wait 5 or more days, they give you “excellent” proposal. If you pay a certain fee, usually double than the first price, they will cancel other client and give you truck signed for that move. This is typical extortion, and you should never accept such deal. Call another moving agency that will gladly take over the job.
Even though this is something that’s not happening often, it is by far the worst moving scam. But it is not just a fraud that will cost you extra money. Movers come to your place, load the trucks and hit the road. Previously, they tell you when to expect them on destination. After they never show up, you will get a phone call from them telling you that your belongings are being captive. They will try to blackmail you to pay extra for your stuff, or even worse, they will steal your things and never contact you. This is a criminal act and if you find yourself in this situation, contact the authorities.
If you are about to move abroad, make sure you follow these tips, and you will avoid fraudulent movers easily, and relocate your things safely.