Tips to Avoid Moving Company Scams

Moving Tips

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately one in nine people move each year, and most homes are sold between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Moving can be one of the most stressful experiences of your life, but the Better Business Bureau is warning everyone to be aware of moving company scams. Following are some tips to prevent you from becoming a victim:

  • Research your moving company options. Ensure they have authority to operate and a U.S. Department of Transportation number.
  • Verify the credibility of your moving company with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Better Business Bureau.
  • Get at least three in-home and written estimates. A "red flag" exists if a moving company refuses to give an in-home estimate or suggests a 'final estimate' without ever having seen your belongings and what your move will entail.
  • Make sure all agreements between you and your mover are in writing and keep hardcopies or PDFs of the paperwork. Links can disappear or go bad, and you don't want to be left in a position where you cannot find your documentation.
  • Know your consumer rights. For interstate moves, moving companies must provide you with two documents: Ready to Move? and Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.
  • Keep an inventory of your belongings and understand their valuations. How much are your goods worth and what is the mover responsible for in case of loss or damage?
  • Avoid large down payments. While some moving companies may request a small deposit, the majority of them will not. Movers who ask for large deposits or full payment upfront should be avoided. Instead, you should be asked to provide payment upon final delivery and completion of services.
  • Never sign a blank document or something you haven't read and understood thoroughly.
  • Take all valuables with you.
  • Ask questions. Any reputable moving company is happy to assist in any way possible. If a moving company is unhelpful or refuses to answer questions or take time to alleviate your concerns, find a different company that provides better customer service.

To reduce further hassles during a move, you can find an abbreviated moving checklist at and tips for moving at