Let’s just tell it like it is – moving is a big deal. People often don’t realize this, but it’s a very complicated process. After all, that’s why we hire moving companies for relocations in the first place. Really, we can’t overstate this enough – choosing the right moving company is important. And it’s not just about getting the best service at affordable prices either. While most moving companies are there to help you, you should be aware that there are real scammers out there. We’re talking about fraudulent moving companies, that don’t deal with you in good faith and just want your money. Don’t worry though, we’re here to help you – here are some tips on how to spot a moving scam in Brooklyn.
The basic moving scams
Unfortunately, in every profession, there are people who just abhor doing an honest day’s work. Instead, such people resort to doing shady deals and scams. And let’s not kid ourselves – the moving industry is no different. We know what you’re thinking now – sure, that’s all fine and good, but how we protect ourselves when browsing for moving firms? Well, it really comes down to one most important thing – you need to know what a basic moving scam in Brooklyn looks like if you want to hire professional movers:
When you’re looking for a moving company, you’ll come across good deals and bad deals. And then, once in a while, you’ll stumble upon an impossibly low price. We’re talking ridiculously low. Really, how can you give this a pass? And that’s the classic hook. However, once the job is done, you’ll be hassled with ridiculously large ‘additional costs’ you’ll be asked to pay.
Here’s another classic play – the “movers” load your thing onto their trucks, as any moving company would. But then they proceed to basically hold your property hostage. They will refuse to move the truck or unload it without you paying additional money.
Grey area moving
We should mention a different sort of scam. These are movers that aren’t really scamming you per se, but you’re still at risk. Basically, we’re talking about movers that don’t work for registered, reputable and legal moving firms. Instead, they choose to work outside the law, without an actual company or registration. While they may do the job right, you’re at risk. Not only are you not guaranteed any quality, but if these illegal movers are prosecuted, your things may be kept as evidence!
Telltale signs of a moving scam in Brooklyn
Okay, so now you’ve got the basic idea of how moving scammers operate. But, it’s even more important to know how to spot a moving scam early on. After all, knowing about scams won’t do you much good after the fact, right? Yeah, you know it makes sense. So let’s talk about one of the most surefire ways to spot moving frauds. When you start researching, you will see that it is quite simple to notice mistakes that the fraud movers have made.
You must know your rights and responsibilities
As we’ve already mentioned, the moving companies, much like any other business, are subject to some industry regulations. Yeah, we know, legal technicalities aren’t exactly fun – but trust us, this is in your interest to learn. Basically, all legitimate and legal moving companies out there are obligated to provide you with something. And that something is a pamphlet about your rights and responsibilities when you move. This contains most of the important information you need to know about the moving process, from a legal point of view. So, if a moving company you’re doing business with doesn’t provide you with this, chances are that something isn’t right. And fraudulent moving companies probably won’t be rushing to give you information that might expose their shady dealings.
Do your due diligence
Okay, by now you’ve probably fully realized just how bad a moving scam can get. That’s why it’s extremely important that you do your proper research before hiring reliable Brooklyn movers. Think about it – really, a relocation is a very personal ordeal. It involves all of your things and family members. And your personal property and really valuable items are all supposed to be moved. That’s why you need to hire professionals you can actually trust. And in order to find these respectable movers, you will need to do some thorough research.
You’ll need to do your research on moving companies if you want to avoid a scam!
Recommendations are an excellent way to find the right moving company. If you have friends or family members, or even acquaintances who have recently moved, great. Ask them about their moving experience. They can tell you all about whether the pricing was affordable, how did the movers behave, were they professional, etc. But, most importantly, you will know for sure that the movers in question are not rouge movers.
Compare several moving companies
The best way not to become a victim of a scam is to know exactly what is out there. Compare at least five moving companies, and let the best one win. After researching the sites, get moving quotes, talk to the employees, it will be quite easy for you to spot a moving scam in Brooklyn. For example, if your moving company does not have a physical address on site, you may start looking for a different company. Always ask as many questions as possible, and talk to the moving crew in person in order to get a sense of their reliability.
Ask the moving company for their USDOT number
A USDOT number is the identification number that you can use to check whether your moving company is licensed. The FMCSA site is the place where you can find out a lot about your moving company. How many vehicles they have, what are their moving reviews, do they have any disputes, etc. It is important to get to know your moving company as much as possible, because it is the best way to avoid scams. A mover who has a license is not likely to be a scammer, so always ask for the USDOT number.
The devil is in the details
As we’ve already said, getting a good offer from a moving firm is just fine. But if you come across an offer that’s just ridiculously low, stay alert. We’re not saying you should avoid a good price – just make sure you pay attention and you’ll avoid a moving scam in Brooklyn. You want to make sure that the moving company in question has their license, for example. Really, you don’t want to put your personal items into the care of an unlicensed firm, trust us on that. Also, if a moving company is ready to give you an estimate during a phone call, without checking your home visually, that’s an alarm bell that should go off.
Read the contract
If there’s one piece of advice that’s applicable to every business transaction on the planet, it’s this. Whether you’re selling a herd of goats in Sri Lanka, or hiring a moving company in Brooklyn for art handling services – read the contract. And read it carefully. If you’re not particularly law-savvy, have a lawyer read it. And on moving day, movers will also present you with something called the Bill of Lading. Basically, this contains all the info about your move, most importantly the delivery dates and the prices. Read all of this carefully, and the chance of being scammed goes down considerably.
Keep the most valuable items within your hand reach
No matter how certain you are that you will not fall victim to a moving scam in Brooklyn, it is important to keep some things by your side. Your most valuable items, such as jewelry, money, credit cards, important documents, passports, etc. must always be within your hand reach. Even the best of movers can have accidents and lose some of your items. So, make sure that your most important documents, and of course, money, are never in a moving box inside the moving truck.
What should you do in case your movers turn out to be scammers?
If you have already chosen a moving company, and they just disappeared with your belongings, you need to react fast. As soon as you notice that something is wrong with the moving company, we suggest that you call the local police. Also, you need to write a complaint to the moving company, and leave a negative report on the Better Business Bureau platform. There is also an agency called MoveRescue.com that you can contact immediately. Whatever you do, remember to remain calm and never pursue the scammers on your own.
We hope our guide will help you with recognizing a moving scam in Brooklyn. If you remain alert, do your research well, and be attentive, there’s really nothing to be afraid of – you’ll find the right local movers Brooklyn in no time!