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BBB Scam Alert: Avoid moving scams this National Moving Month

For countless Americans, the month of May signifies a major transition in their lives. Whether it is gearing up for warmer weather, graduating from high school or college, starting a new job or receiving that highly anticipated acceptance letter, May marks the beginning of the busiest time in the nation for moving. So much so, that the month was designated National Moving Month in 1997.

According to move.org, California is the top state to move out of and the third that people are moving to, while Arizona ranks 7th. If your path is leading you to somewhere new, follow these tips from Better Business Bureau Serving the Pacific Southwest (BBB) to avoid falling victim to potential moving scams. Read the full article on our website.

  • Watch out for warning signs. When reviewing a company’s website, if there is no address or information about a mover’s registration or insurance, it is a sign that it may not possess the proper policies to protect a consumer’s belongings. Additionally, if the mover uses a rented truck or offers an estimate over the phone prior to conducting an on-site inspection, it may not be a legitimate business.
  • Be wary of unusual requests. If a mover asks for a large down payment or full payment in advance, that may be an indication of a fraudulent business. If an individual’s possessions are being held hostage for additional payment that was not agreed upon when the contract was signed, contact BBB or local law enforcement for help.
  • Get everything in writing. When moving between states, check licensing with the U.S. Department of Transportation. An identification number is required of all interstate moving companies, issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) which can be verified at ProtectYourMove.org. Make sure to carefully read the terms and conditions of the contract, as well as the limits of liability and any disclaimers. The pickup and expected delivery date should be easily identified.
  • Keep an inventory of your belongings. Having an inventory sheet is one of the best ways to keep track of your possessions. BBB recommends consumers who are moving label the boxes their belongings are packed in and what is in each box. In general, movers are not liable for lost or damaged contents in customer-packed boxes unless there is provable negligence on the part of the mover. Taking photos of the contents prior to packing is a great way to prove if damages were incurred during the moving process.
  • Ask questions. Do not be afraid to ask questions about anything you don’t understand. If the moving company either can’t or won’t answer your questions, look for another company. Trust matters when hiring a moving company.

With the precautions introduced by the coronavirus pandemic, it is important to follow the guidelines put forth by the CDC when moving into a new residence, either as a family or individual.

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This article was released by the Better Business Bureau.