While there are many legitimate moving companies that want to give you great value for money, you will also find many services that try to scam you and you end up overpaying them. The best thing that you can do is to understand what moving scams are out there, and based on that, you will be able to avoid them adequately.

The Hostage

As the name suggests, this scam will basically focus on a moving company keeping your items and not agreeing to unload them unless you pay them more money on the spot. Unfortunately, lots of moving companies do this and the issue is very hard to spot at first.

The issue is that you are basically forced to pay more for their service, so the company is backing down on their word. That’s a bad thing because it’s an unlawful approach and one that no one should do.

The way you counteract “the hostage” approach is by hiring local laborers to load and unload a rental truck. Drive the rental truck yourself, so you will always get to keep your items safe and not trust anyone with them, to begin with. This type of hybrid move gives you more safety and it will also help you save some money.

Studying the moving company beforehand and seeing what type of service they can deliver does help a lot. Read legitimate reviews and see whether they can be trusted or not. Based on that you will know exactly what you are getting into and what you can expect.

The Lowball

Some companies use the lowball approach because it works out nicely for them. They lowball the inventory at first and then they add in extra charges during the day when they are supposed to move the items. They share a cheaper estimate so customers are enticed to work with them. But the problem is that when it’s time to move, you actually end up dealing with unforeseen costs and that is something you really want to avoid right off the bat.

Counteracting this is also tricky because you don’t know about the problem, to begin with. But you have to ask what’s included with the offer right off the bat. You also need to know what they are not including and what you have to pay extra for. When you do something like this, it will be easier to avoid being overcharged, and that’s exactly what you want to focus on. Get written confirmations and not just a verbal confirmation.

Broken Broker

Of course, some companies are even more creative and they use a scam approach similar to the Nigerian prince scam in your emails. Scammers are known as brokers here when they are quoting as well as booking cheap moves; they even charge a deposit. Then they are selling customers to other moving businesses.


The new moving business doesn’t get any money from that deposit, so they are expected to get paid the full amount. Obviously this doesn’t sit well with the customer that already paid the deposit. And as you can imagine the scam business vanishes and most of the time, you can’t get a hold of them.

How can you deal with an issue like this? Unfortunately, this is very tricky to handle, and the only thing you can do is to search online to figure out if the moving company you want to work with is a registered one. Proper moving companies are certified and they have insurance; if they don’t, then you might be dealing with a scam.

Shifty Scale

Most scam companies will usually focus on sharing a very low price based on weight. And obviously, customers are flocking towards the lower price, as anyone would. The problem with this is that in the end, movers will make their own weight controls and they will report a much heavier weight, disregarding the estimate.

As a result, you will have a way higher price.

The thing to keep in mind is that customers are allowed to be present at the reweigh, so you can ask for one and then check it out to see for yourself if there’s a scam or not. The best thing you can do is to avoid a weight-based quote, as these are always very scammy!

The Name Change

Some companies tend to promote some very low prices via a very simple, template-based website and ask for a deposit. Then, they just change their name and finding them will be incredibly tricky in the end. The problem here is that a lot of people fall for this approach, despite clearly being a scam. Thankfully you can check the history of a business and reviews online too.

Ask for recommendations and you can also check public federal records to see if they are active, when they started the business, and so on.

While this type of scam is not happening all the time, it can appear and you really have to tackle it as quickly as possible. Otherwise, there can be problems and you want to avoid them as much as possible. Tracking a company’s history is one of the most important aspects out there and it can help you prevent scammers very often.

We encourage you to use all these tips as a great way to avoid any scams when moving to a new home. It’s unfortunate that a lot of movers use these tactics, but there are ways to counteract them, all you have to do is to figure out how to do that and you will be fine. Our guidelines will make it easier for you to spot and avoid scams very fast.

Rest assured that when an estimate sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. That’s why you must have patience because finding a reputable mover takes quite a bit of time and effort. Avoid rushing and you will be very happy with the results!