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Moving Fraud

Every year more than 40 million Americans move. This can be a stressful time for anyone. In addition to contacting all the utility companies at your current residence and the new residence, packing up everything, contacting the post office; you need to move everything from house A to house B.

How do you find a trustworthy mover? How do you avoid a rogue mover?

A rogue mover will usually give you a low estimate over the telephone without seeing the goods you want moved. Then when the goods are in the truck they will demand more money before they will deliver them.

The following are some "red flags" to look for:

  1. Moving company demands cash or large deposit before the move.
  2. Mover doesn't provide you with a copy of "Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move", a booklet required by federal regulations to be supplied by the mover.
  3. The company's website or advertisement has no local address and no information about their insurance.
  4. When you call the company, the greeting is generic, such as, "Movers" or Moving company", rather than the company's name.
  5. A rental truck arrives instead of a company-owned / marked truck on moving day.

Here are some steps to insure a successful move:

  1. Collect a written estimate from several movers. The estimate should be based on the actual inspection of your household goods.
  2. Confirm that the mover is registered with the proper authority and insured. For out of state moves, a U.S. DOT number is required by FMCSA. You can check a mover's registration on
  3. Look up the company on the Better Business Bureau.
  4. Know that movers are required by law to deliver your goods for no more than 10% above the estimate.

If you think you have been the victim of a rogue mover, you can call 1-888-DOT-SAFT to file a complaint.


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