Planning a move is stressful enough without having to worry about hiring a reputable moving company. Moving scams are on the rise and it’s important to know what the most common scams are so you can take the steps to protect yourself.

1. Operating Illegally:

Anyone can make a website these days, rent a few trucks and pass themselves off as a legitimate moving company. Always make sure the company is registered with the BBB. Ask for documents and proof if you are weary. There is very little quality control on websites such as Craigslist or Kijiji, so any regular Joe can put up a fake logo and call himself a moving company. Fraudsters get caught or shut down for operating illegally, your items can even be held as evidence!

2. Asking for a LARGE deposit, or none at all:

Although asking for a deposit is good practice (busy companies will need to reserve something for you in advance, so this should give you peace of mind), there should be various method of payments available. If they refuse to accept credit card payments, or debit, and insist on cash or e-transfer ONLY, then this should be a giant red flag. Look elsewhere immediately. Another red flag regarding deposits is not collecting a deposit at all. A promise to show up is not binding and many people are left stranded on move dates because these companies either over-booked or simply decided to conduct a move that was ’more expensive’ than yours. There should be some formal transaction for a booking date which gives both parties peace of mind. You then should get written and professional confirmation after the transaction, having documented proof of said transaction!

3. The Disappearing Act:

Do not get us started on the disappearing act. Over the years, and especially in summer, we are contacted by consumers who are left on their doorsteps with all their goods packed and ready to go – and no movers in sight. A tragedy which we try our best to accommodate given we have the availability. Another ’act of disappearance’ is; according to the Better Business Bureau, moving scams are reported with losses up to $10,000 per individual scam and this includes rogue companies which will load up your goods, start the truck and vanish, never to be heard of again. In these situations there is little to no chance of ever seeing your belongings again. And if you do not have proper insurance coverage for belongings in-transit, the loss can be devastating. Never settle for a non-reputable company. Check online ratings, BBB ratings and their overall presence in the community to determine whether they are good for you or not. Do not hire ’Joe’s Moving’ who claims to be a reputable moving company, and the rates are half of that amongst competitors.


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By doing your research you are much more likely to spot the red flags and avoid these common moving scams. Your moving company should welcome any questions you may have and provide answers accordingly. If they become agitated or annoyed at your questions, consider looking elsewhere. Moving can be stressful enough without having to deal with grump and negative folks who hate their job. If the customer service provided upfront is top notch, you can expect the same type of customer service in person with your movers. Booking a moving company should relieve you of stress and have you feeling confident in your decision. Hiring the cheapest may sound like a sweet deal but could end up costing you everything, literally.

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