A photo of how common moving scams can drain your savings

Common Moving Scams You Should Watch Out For

The moving business has experienced tremendous growth in the last couple of years. With the power of the internet, you can now quickly contact multiple moving teams. At the same time, moving businesses find it easier to reach many potential customers. However, even though this makes hiring a lot simpler in one way, there's an increasing number of fraudulent moving companies, too. They are constantly finding new ways to do a scam, so people need to be extra careful when finding someone to help them out with their relocation. This guide will ensure you are more cautious with your upcoming move – here are the most common moving scams you should watch out for if you plan on moving house soon.

Moving estimates – an unpleasant surprise

Let's begin with one of the most common moving scams in this business. Moving estimates are a very popular way for scammers to take more money from you. The way it works is that they offer an online moving estimate that is really attractive. However, they don't come to confirm that information, but they wait until the items are already loaded onto their truck to show you the actual price. They demand much more than they asked initially, and people are forced to pay to get their things back. Unlike the initial estimate, the final bill is much more expensive and can cause serious financial problems for the family.

How to avoid it?

Moving is stressful enough, so if there's a way to minimize the risks – be sure to do it. Firstly, compare a couple of moving teams and their estimates. This will give you a rough idea of the average price of your household relocation, so it will be easier to spot the ones that are too good to be true. Remember that estimates that are way too cheap or expensive are a huge red flag in the moving business. Also, check how detailed the estimate you get is. A professional moving team will require all the details about the number and size of your items, so they can make a precise inventory list and then calculate the costs. Be sure to review the estimate and ensure all your things are on the list. Finally, if any changes occur before the moving day, don't forget to report them, so the moving costs correspond to the number of items you need relocated to your new home.

Paying a moving deposit

Requesting a large sum of money for a move is not something professional, trustworthy companies do. In most cases, that should be considered a danger alert, and you should stay away from the moving company that asks you to pay in advance. Also, requesting a cash payment can signify common moving scams you should watch out for. These are all risks of spending a lot of money and never seeing it or your things ever again.

How to avoid it?

Make sure the company you hire is a registered business that can issue a receipt. This gives you a proof in case you need to file a complaint. Also, if a moving company requests a moving deposit, make sure they explain the reasons and give you a signed proof of your payment. But it would be best to hire a team that doesn't require any upfront payments.

A blank contract

Another common moving scam is you should avoid signing a blank contract. It's usually the one that doesn't say anything about your relationship with the moving company you hired. Even if the moving representative is extremely friendly and doesn't seem shady, take a closer look at the contract they offer. By not doing so, you risk losing some of your items or the movers not being responsible for damaging or losing some of your boxes.

How to avoid it?

It is essential to read your contract from top to bottom. This document should include all the details about your move, such as the fees, extra charges, delivery date, and the complete inventory list. In other words, it will show you an overview of how moving companies can protect customers. Vague descriptions of your boxes or unclear lists of prices are something to stay away from at all costs. That's why finding companies that care about their clients is essential – they'll be honest and precise, protecting their customers from experiencing unpleasant surprises.

Low-quality packing services

If you opt for a whole moving experience and expect movers to pack your items, be careful with what you get for the price. Sometimes, movers will try to scam you by charging a lot for their packing supplies or using more than necessary to increase the costs. Furthermore, such movers will probably not take good care of your items, increasing the risk of damage and loss.

How to avoid it?

It's best to pack your home by yourself. DIY packing may seem complicated initially. But if you have the right supplies and enough time to pack everything correctly, you'll take the best care of your belongings. However, if there are multiple fragile items or expensive art pieces, it's best to hire professional packers to do the work.

Insurance issues

Finally, we've got a common moving scam related to insurance. A fraudulent mover will offer you complete protection without much detail on how they will do it. However, that's not the truth, and in case something happens, you're left with no insurance or minimum coverage.

How to avoid it?

In general, moving companies offer basic insurance coverage based on the weight of your items. However, a professional moving team will tackle this issue even before you do and offer you some additional insurance options. These can vary among companies and depend on your moving situation, though. Either way, be sure to ask more about the insurance details. And always get a copy of the policy in case you need it later.


Finally, common moving scams teach us one thing – we need to be extra careful when trusting our household to a stranger. The best way to avoid relocation becoming a nightmare is to take your time choosing a moving team. Double check their license, online presence, and testimonials, and try to get recommendations from the people you trust. Word of mouth is often the best way to ensure a company is really what it appears to be on the internet. Stay safe!