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How to recognize fraudulent movers?

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A stressed out young woman is looking through the window.

Moving industry has been on the rise over the past decade. Consequently, the number of companies that provide moving services has also increased significantly. It’s good to know that most of these companies run a fully legitimate business. However, there is a small percentage of movers that can truly make your life miserable if you make the mistake of hiring them. We call them fraudulent movers or rogue movers.

A semi-trailer truck on the road.
The pool of vehicles tells a lot about a moving company

Fraudulent movers are phantom movers that change their name and address, use rental trucks and avoid physical contact with their clients before the move. They usually advertise online, but offer little or none information about their business. Learn how to recognize fraudulent movers in due time and avoid becoming a victim of their manipulation.

Check on complaints with reliable sources

If you don’t have friends and relatives to turn to for recommendation, online research is your best friend. However, you can rely on browsing the Internet only if you know how to use it wisely. Don’t believe everything you see advertised online. Credentials and testimonials can be fake and websites with very little information are not trustworthy either.

The right thing to do in this situation is to use reliable sources and check on complaints filed against moving companies. Reliable sources such as Better Business Bureau allow you to find true reviews on the services of a number of moving companies, as well as to browse through the complaints of dissatisfied customers. Take your time and research the companies of your choice thoroughly before you entrust them with your entire household.

Is the offer too good to be true?

Of course you are looking for an affordable mover. Relocation can drain you of every cent you have, especially if you’re moving long distance across Canada. However, if the quote a company is offering seems incredibly low, maybe it is too good to be true. A reliable moving company calculates the costs of a move based on the mileage and weight, which means that they need to hold prices at a certain level to keep their business running. If the bid you’re getting is far below other estimates, you have strong reasons to suspect that you are dealing with a fraudulent mover.

A stack of coins and paper banknotes. - fraudulent movers can take that from you
If the quote is too low it’s not a good sign

The same goes for moving companies that ask for a large upfront payment. There is absolutely no need to pay everything in advance, especially in cash. Fraudulent movers usually demand a large cash deposit before the move. If this is not the case, there are other tricks. They may try to charge extra while the moving process is ongoing. Be sure to ask about extra charges and hidden fees before signing the contract. If you provide them with all the necessary pickup details in time, you should get a quote without hidden fees.

Fraudulent movers are not licensed

Every moving company that runs a legitimate business needs to own a license for the services within their line of work. Moving companies in Canada abide by carriage regulations laid down by different provinces. For example, if you’re looking for reliable moving services Ontario, you should know that your mover’s business complies with rules and regulations of the province of Ontario. As for American moving companies, licenses depend on the state the mover is located in. Regulations may differ, but licenses are nevertheless an essential proof of a legitimate, trustworthy business.

No information about the insurance

If you cannot find information about the insurance, beware of a possible scam. Rogue movers don’t have insurance that covers possible damage in the transport. Insurance usually covers damage to a certain extent depending on the policy of a company. Nevertheless, some items are not covered by the insurance. If you do the packing yourself or transport extremely fragile items, you cannot expect to be fully covered. If a moving company bluntly offers insurance that fully covers all the possible damage, do not trust their bid. Ask for a copy of the insurance policy and inspect the small print carefully.

A man is signing a contract.
Inspect the small print before you sign the contract


The importance of an in-house estimate

Fraudulent movers avoid physical contact with their clients before the move. They will answer the phone and provide some basic information online, but they will do their best to avoid an in-house estimate. If you’re struggling to calculate your moving costs and all you get is a surface estimate, think twice before hiring. A reliable moving company can give you the most precise estimate when they inspect your premises. If distance allows this sort of visit and they are not willing to make the effort, all the odds are that they will not meet your expectations.

Reliable movers gladly give all their contact details

Online presentation is an important part of modern business. If you want to learn more about a moving company, you should check their website for details. Reliable movers will do their best to put all the necessary information at their clients’ disposal. If you’re looking for a straightforward online presentation, Number 1 Movers Ontario can provide you with everything you need to know. From contact information to free quotes and description of services, there’s no need to look any further. Reliable movers will always answer your call within working hours. Polite and forthcoming, their agents will gladly answer your questions.

The looks of a vehicle is worth a thousand words

The pool of vehicles tells a lot about a moving company. Fraudulent movers usually rely on rentals and do not have their own pool of vehicles. In addition, you can tell that they do not run business transparently by the looks of their trucks. If the trucks they send for your belongings are in poor condition and unbranded, you better think twice before you hand over your entire household. Poor service and inadequate handling of your stuff is the least you can expect. There is a chance that a phantom mover will disappear with your belongings or hold them hostage until you pay extra cash.