Feds see ‘significant uptick’ in moving scam complaints

Millions of Americans expected to relocate this summer
Published: Apr. 11, 2023 at 3:19 PM CDT
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InvestigateTV - The U.S. Department of Transportation earlier this month launched Operation Protect Your Move, a nationwide crackdown on scam movers, in response to a “significant uptick” in complaints of movers holding household possessions hostage to extort exorbitant additional charges from consumers.

The operation will target both movers and the brokers that purport to connect consumers to local movers, but instead facilitate fraud by promoting scams.

Good Greek Moving & Storage CEO Spero Georgedakis has been in the moving business for 26 years. He said when evaluating moving companies, one immediate red flag to look out for is when a company has no interest in coming to your home to see what is being moved.

Georgedakis said to also watch out for “lowballing,” another common moving scam where companies will provide a low quote based on basic information, then demand more money once the job begins.

Georgedakis shared several other tips to help consumers protect themselves from unscrupulous businesses:

  • Be wary of working with a moving broker instead of a moving company. Brokers resell moving jobs and don’t perform any of the actual work, so they aren’t incentivized for the move to go smoothly.
  • Look for moving companies with a local address.
  • Ensure the moving company is registered with the DOT Federal Motor Carrier Safety Registration.
  • Call around and get several quotes for your move.
  • Be cautious if on the day of the move a rental truck shows up rather than a company-owned or marked-fleet truck.
  • Keep all records of contracts, proof of payments and all communication with the moving company in case you need it.

The DOT has free resources for anyone who is moving, including checklists, moving tips, and how to file a complaint against a moving company.