A lot of time and effort is put into buying and selling homes, and that extends to the actual event of moving as well. When a homeowner is trusting a moving company to move everything they own from one location to another, they want to be sure they can trust those movers. For many people, untrustworthy movers are the ultimate nightmare of the entire home buying process, and this fear is completely founded. There are moving companies out there who try to take advantage of homeowners in many different ways. Fortunately, they have warning signs that homeowners can spot in advance. Here are some of the common warning signs of a moving scam.
The Company Agrees to Move Everything, Sight Unseen
Because scam movers are just looking to make fast money, they don’t actually care about delivering on their promises. When a reputable mover talks to a homeowner, they’ll say they need to set up a time so a representative can see everything they need moved and give them an estimate. When a scam mover talks to a homeowner, they say they don’t need to see anything and just have the homeowner describe what needs to be moved. A mover can’t give an accurate price estimate without seeing everything in person, and saying otherwise is a huge red flag that homeowners need to be wary of.
The Company Asks for a Down Payment
Scam movers are typically only looking to make a quick buck without actually delivering on any of the promises they make, and the easiest way for them to make money is by asking for a down payment. When a scam mover ask the homeowner for a down payment, it may be anywhere from a few-hundred dollars to half the moving cost. Reputable movers won’t ask for a down payment except for in certain cases, so homeowners should be wary of small-name movers who do. Once the moving company has the homeowner’s money, they will most often take it and run, leaving the homeowner without a mover when moving day comes.
The Company Contacts You First
When a homeowner is looking for a moving company, they’re likely going to call all the big national companies and maybe a few trusted local small businesses. Sometimes when looking for online quotes, a website will pass the homeowners information on to other companies, both legitimate and scams. If a moving company contacts the homeowner without any warning or requesting the contact, it could be a sign of a scam, so homeowners should be wary.
The Company Has Undergone Multiple Name Changes
Whenever a homeowner is in talks with a moving company that isn’t an established national chain, homeowners should always do a thorough background check on it. This includes looking at reviews and ratings from past customers, seeing how long the company has been around, and seeing if it ever changed its name. Finding a history of company name changes can be a telling sign. One name change—perhaps two if the business has been around for a long time—is acceptable. The problem comes when there is an abnormal number of name change, especially in a short period of time. Multiple name changes can be a sign that the company is trying to distance themselves from the reputations of their old names.
Moving can be a stressful time for Colorado Springs homeowners, but knowing the red flags and warning signs associated with moving scams can be a good way to be more confident about hiring the right moving company.
Lauren Schneider, Real Estate Agent and Military Relocation Professional (MRP)
Lauren Schneider has lived in Colorado Springs for nearly 20 years and knows that the military is what keeps this town ticking, which is one of the reasons she's chosen to pursue her dream of helping military families with all of their homebuying needs. Learn more about Lauren or start your home search now.