Consumer Alert: Choose a Certified ProMover to Avoid Moving Scams
Feds Urged to Take Further Action in the Fight Against Scammers
January 10, 2017
ALEXANDRIA, VA — Scam artists and moving company imposters take advantage of thousands of consumers each year. While these are a tiny fraction of the millions of moves handled annually by professional movers, they can cause signifanct pain and grief to the victims of these crimes, often resulting in lost or damaged possessions, hundreds or even thousands of dollars in extra fees, and hours of wasted time dealing with the mess.
Consumers can avoid falling prey to a scam by choosing a certified ProMover to handle their moving needs. Certified by the American Moving & Storage Association, ProMovers are fully licensed and insured, and meet high standards for safety and professionalism. Nearly 2,800 movers have been certified. For a complete list and free referral, go to Moving.org.
Currently the St. Louis office of the Better Business Bureau is investigating a network of Florida-based moving companies with ties to the St. Louis area that has apparently been scamming consumers. One of the companies under investigation has misappropriated the name and branding of Able Moving & Storage, a legitimate, certified ProMover based in Manassas, Va. The company says about 80 consumers have contacted them in confusion so far.
“When we heard what was happening to Able Moving & Storage, we reached out to federal regulators to convey our concerns and urge them to take strong action,” said Scott Michael, president and CEO for the American Moving & Storage Association. “We are also taking this opportunity to educate the public about how they can protect themselves from a scam. Consumers can research potential movers and file a moving fraud complaint with the federal government at ProtectYourMove.gov.”
Here are a few quick tips to make sure you’re working with a professional mover.
- Do some comparison shopping and get at least three free estimates in writing, by email or as an attachment. Avoid unusually high or low estimates when making your decision. Ask them if they’re a certified ProMover.
- Choose a mover with a physical location near you, and drive by to check out their facility. A professional mover will be proud to show you how good a job they can do.
- Show the mover everything that needs to be moved, from the attic to the basement, including any sheds, garages and storage areas.
- Read every document carefully, and make sure you get a copy of everything you sign. Do not sign any blank forms.
- Do not email deposit or payment information to the mover, such as driver’s license, check and credit card information. A professional mover will provide a secure way for you to pay.
- Ask questions if you don’t understand something, and make sure your mover has your cell phone number to reach you.
To quickly find a certified professional mover near you, visit Moving.org.
The American Moving & Storage Association, home of the ProMover certification program, is the national trade association representing the nation’s moving and storage companies, which provide household goods moving services, specialized transportation for sensitive freight such as computers and trade show exhibits, and warehouse storage services. The association has approximately 3,500 members, including domestic and international companies and industry suppliers, and supports programs and activities that promote consumer protection, professional development, safety, and operational efficiency. Find out more at ProMover.org and Moving.org.