How to recognize fraudulent movers

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If you are deciding to move someplace new, and are in need of a good moving company, then it is important to know how to recognize deceitful movers. There are some characteristics that can help you realize a moving company is a scam. Dealing with moving for so long, experts at Beltway Movers DMV can immediately tell whether a moving company is real or fake. Since we know how hard and stressful the whole process of moving can be, the best thing to do was share some tips on how to recognize fraudulent movers. Hopefully, you will find these useful and not get fooled by scammers.

No personal branding is a red flag

One of the easiest ways to tell whether a moving company is real or fake is by its personal branding. This includes several things such as websites, logos, business cards, and more. If a company doesn’t have a website or has a very poorly looking website, it is probably a scam. Additionally, having no logo can also be a sign of a fraudulent moving company. Moreover, you should pay special attention to your movers on your moving day.

a man holding a business card
Personal branding is one of the most important things for any business, and moving companies are no different.

If the truck that comes to pick you up has no logo or indicator that they belong to a specific moving company, then there’s a high chance the moving company is not legit. Therefore, just to be certain, always check for personal branding. If your movers have nothing to hide, they will be proud to show off their company!

Recognize fraudulent movers by the frequent change of names and places

A company usually changes names and/or the place where they operate because of poor ratings or legal actions against them. This doesn’t necessarily mean they are a fraud, but they can also be a bad moving company. If the company was reported to authority and they give them a lower rating, this can affect the company’s reputation. Some sneaky moving companies will change the name of their company to get around these poor ratings.

Or, in some extreme cases, they might move to an entirely new address or place and restart their business. Some may say like a clean slate. That is why, when moving, you must check this for every company, such as, for example, residential movers Washington DC. So, always check the history of a moving company and whether they changed names or moved, and what was the reasoning behind that.

Dishonest movers often don’t have office or address

Similarly to the previous point, if the address is nowhere to be found or is listed as just a city or a P.O. box, the moving company is not legit. The address of any business, including a moving company, should be public information, so everyone has access to it. Additionally, if the moving company doesn’t have an office, be careful as that can be a sign of fraud.

office chatting
Every registered moving company should have some type of headquarters, most likely an office.

Finally, you should know that all qualified movers must be included in an official registry. To be safe, be sure that the moving company you want to hire is on the list of companies with a proper license.

Inaccurate estimates and additional hidden costs

When moving to a new place, the company is required to provide you with an estimate of the cost of moving. This is usually done by calculating the distance, amount of people needed for the job, the weight of the things being moved, or additional help you might need. This means that a representative should come to your house and check your belongings. A good estimator will give you a proper price based on weight and bulkiness.

If a moving company tries to give you an estimate over the phone, be careful. They will most likely give you a wrong estimate, that is higher than the right one. You will pay more than what is needed. Proper moving companies DC area will have good customer service, and check their estimate multiple times so you don’t pay more than necessary. Additionally, be careful of the fine print on your contract (if there is one). Look for additional costs and the words “Guaranteed Not to Exceed”. This means that your final bill is guaranteed not to exceed 10% of the original estimate, but not including packing fees.

Blank contract as a way to recognize fraudulent movers

The first thing you need to make sure of is that you sign some type of contract. This means that any registered company or entity is legally required to fulfill its duty. They cannot back out of a move if you had already paid, and similar things like that. One of the ways they scam you, besides providing inaccurate estimates, is by asking you to sign a blank contract. They usually claim that they’re busy now but that they’ll fill in the empty spaces later. They essentially ask you to believe that they’ll fill in the contract with the correct information.  When you do sign a filled-out contract, check it carefully. Make sure all the information matches what you and the movers have discussed. If something about the contract seems off, try to find new local movers DC that will help you move.

Some other ways you can recognize fraudulent movers

Some smaller or newer moving companies can seem like a scam even if they are legit. That is why you need to check the reviews and ask around. You can sometimes even ask the company whether they can refer you to a previous customer. But always check with other people information about the moving company. While these are the main ways you can recognize fraudulent movers, pay attention but there are a few more alternative ways:

  • The moving price is too low.
  • The movers require a big deposit beforehand.
  • The company is way too informal.
  • The first impression is off-putting (always trust your gut feeling!).
Woman researching reputable moving companies
Making the right choice when choosing a moving company can make or break a move. That is why it is important to learn how to recognize fraudulent movers.

When choosing a moving company you need to be extra careful. After all, this step can be crucial to your whole moving process, so you don’t want to make the wrong choice. After you have decided on the movers, it’s time to pack your things and wait for the movers to arrive. Hopefully, this article can help you recognize fraudulent movers and not get scammed by them!

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My movers were fantastic. I wound up being much farther behind them than I anticipated, and they found parking and got started unloading while I was still on the road. This was my second move with Beltway Movers, and I’m officially a big fan.

- Kara R September 3, 2021

They were so quick obviously. They were very nice and helpful. And my wife specifically liked how they would talk out loud about their own safety and about protecting the walls and floors. Very amiable. Loved the experience!

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…I was very pleased with the crew from Beltway Movers and how friendly and professional they were. They were on time right from the start and worked very hard to get the job done in a timely manner. The crew leader, Davis, was exceptional in assessing the move situation and packing the truck to make everything fit. Movers, Ed and Damion, were both hardworking and efficient. I would definitely recommend this crew to friends.

- Jennifer A. March 10, 2021

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