Going Rogue: How Scammers Are Giving Good Movers A Bad Name

published by on May 15, 2013Before You Move Tips, News

Don't get scammed by a rogue.

We all know someone with a bad move story. We hear things like, “I used the worst mover” or “I would never use that mover again.” There’s a pretty good chance, though, that these people didn’t actually use a real mover.

A mover is a licensed and insured business with a legitimate address and phone number. They have a physical location and will pick up the phone when you call them. Often, a mover has been in business for generations, is active within their community and is dedicated to providing exceptional customer service.

Meanwhile, those guys who advertise on Craigslist or a flyer in the neighborhood with the cheapest price may not be licensed or insured. Real movers like to call these guys “rogues” or “bandits.” If this sounds like it’s right out of an action movie, it’s not so far off. Many states are operating sting operations to try to catch bad guys who are out to rip you off, as you can read about here or even watch here.

Don't get scammed by a rogue.

Don’t get scammed by a rogue.

The rogues ignore state regulations and aren’t covered financially to protect you if something goes wrong. They’ll try to scam you by offering a too-good-to-be-true price and then surprising you with unexpected costs on move day. They may actually change their name multiple times so it’s hard to find out who they really are – some may even steal a real mover’s name or business address.

Sounds scary, huh? It is. But it’s our job to help you avoid the scammers and find good, credible movers who play by the rules and will treat your stuff (and your money) like it’s their own. We’ve done our homework so you don’t have to.

Here are a few basic steps we take to identify the bad guys. Look for future blog posts where we’ll go into even more detail on each step:

  • Identity: Are they who they say there are? The phone number and address they post should reach a real company that answers the phone with the name of that business.
  • License & Registration: Do they have the appropriate state and interstate licenses? We’ll provide more detail in a future blog post, but most states require some sort of license which you can typically look up online. We’ll do this for you. Just check the “fine print” section for each listing.
  • Insurance: Do they have the necessary insurance? Again, most states require that this is posted publicly, and we’ll help you identify if they meet the minimum.
  • Real Consumer Feedback: What’s been the experience of others using the company? Check out consumer reviews and be prepared for what you might encounter with a company. All of our reviews are verified, so you can trust that they came from a real consumer for a real move.

Soon we’ll be posting badges next to each company listing on MCR so you can quickly see which companies passed the steps above and which didn’t.

Moving doesn’t have to be scary. There are thousands of excellent movers out there. We’re here to help you find them.

If you have any suggestions for how we can make this even easier, let us know at support@movingcompanyreviews.com.

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