Red flags for fraudulent movers to look out for

In every business, there are honest companies and dishonest companies. The moving industry is no different in that regard. So, it would be wise to look out for red flags for fraudulent movers when deciding on your local moving company NJ. With the move being complicated and involving relocating all of your belongings, you want to have the maximum amount of security. Not to mention that hiring fraudulent movers can lead to a whole world of complication for you. To help you steer clear of this trouble, we compiled a guide on red flags for fraudulent movers to look out for. So, let’s dive right into it.

Spotting red flags for fraudulent movers at first contact

The most ideal situation would be spotting red flags for fraudulent movers at the very first contact you have with them. That can be done relatively quickly by looking at their website. First of all, if they don’t have one – that is a pretty big red flag in itself. Moving companies live and die by the way they market themselves. Since most people will only use a moving company once or twice in a lifetime, and not necessarily the same one, moving companies rely on attracting as many individual customers as possible. Now, a small and old mom and pop moving company form a small town might not have a website while still being reliable. However, most moving companies NJ today will have a website.

A woman looking up a website. If a moving company doesn't have a website that is one of the red flags for fraudulent movers
Always check a moving company’s online presence and reputation.

Another thing to that long distance movers NJ might advise you here is to check what kind of reviews can be found on the moving company website. Usually, people will leave short and to-the-point reviews, that are not laden with complex language. However, fraudulent movers will hire people to leave false reviews on their website. Professional writers usually write these and thus stand out from your typical reviews. So, keep a lookout for any suspicious, overly-positive reviews, as they might be one of the red flags for fraudulent movers. Another thing fraudulent movers might try to keep from you is the address of their offices. That is a definite red flag.

Checking the company reputation

One good way to test a moving companies reputation is checking if they have any open issues with the  Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This organization has a section on its website dedicated to filing complaints against moving companies and checking out other people’s complaints on a particular moving company. So, if a company you looked up appears with a complaint filed, you should consider that one of the red flags for fraudulent movers to look out for.

Demanding a large sum of money upfront is amongst the red flags for fraudulent movers

One of the most common red flags for fraudulent movers is being asked to leave a large deposit or cash-only payment beforehand. The fraudulent company then wither with the money or uses it as a leverage to force you to accept their (usually unfair) terms. This red flag was so prevalent that it was included in a US Department of Transportation (DOT( publication “Protect your move.”

A man holding a credit card
Demanding large sums of money up-front is one of the red flags for fraudulent movers

A significantly lower price

Another one of the classic red flags for fraudulent movers is if a company offers rates that seem too good to be true. After all, a move is a job that requires certain expenses. As our friends from office movers NJ told us, there are things a moving company simply can’t cut back on. Fraudulent movers, however, will propose an unrealistically lower price, trying to lure you in with it. An excellent way to determine if a price is unrealistically low is to compare it to the costs of other moving companies. Having the price off by a few percents might just mean that the moving company is trying to be more competitive. However, having a significant discount that might make moving you seem unprofitable for the moving company is a red flag.

Incomplete or blank documents

One way moving scams operate is by handing you empty or incomplete documents to sign. You should never, under any circumstance, do this. That allows them to fill in whatever blanks there were with your signature already on the document. That way, you basically agree to whatever they want to add to the contract. Needless to say, these additions are usually very damaging to the customer, making handing incomplete documents one of the classic red flags for fraudulent movers.

The sight-unseen

Another one of the major red flags for fraudulent movers is the so-called “sight-unseen.” That boils down to the moving company offering you a moving estimate or calculating the costs of your move, without seeing what they need to move. That is usually done via the internet or the telephone. However, even reputable moving companies might offer a moving estimate on their website, where you fill in the belongings. However, reputable moving companies will always visibly mark that this is not the final moving estimate and that it is just a non-binding estimate.

A worried woman. One of the red flags for fraudulent movers is offering you an estimate without visiting your home.
Always be careful fo the companies offering you definite moving estimates without seeing what they will need to move.

The crew and gear

Finally, one of the red flags for fraudulent movers is the state of their crew and equipment. Reputable movers will have polite crewmen arriving in a company marked vehicle. On the other hand, fraudulent movers will usually operate out of a rented truck, and their crews will be aggressive or rude. Even if they seem nice at first, not having company insignia is pretty much a red flag in the moving business

Looking out for red flags for fraudulent movers

There you have it. After reading through our article, you should be prepared to spot the red flags for fraudulent movers. This will meant that you would be able to avoid fraudulent movers before even dealing with them. After all, it’s best not to waste time and just find a reputable moving company.

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Excellent service.We moved across town last week and these guys did a great job. Max, Qua, Rob and Tito were professional and courteous and above all very careful with all our belongings. Will happily recommend them to friends and family.

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