With millions of people moving every year and thousands of moving companies, you can guarantee there will be some scammers out there. Unfortunately, many people fall prey to disreputable moving businesses and end up losing money, or worse their belongings.

That is why finding a South Florida moving company that you can trust is so important. A professional moving company will provide you with upfront estimates and be there when you need them. But it is important to know who not to trust, so here are some scams you should avoid.

The Bait and Switch

This scam has been around a while, but with the right information, you will know how to keep away from this familiar ploy. This scam is one of the worst too good to be true cons out there. You think you have found a mover offering you a real bargain; they give you super low price to move all of your belongings. But after all your items are loaded on the truck, they double or even triple the amount telling your load is larger than they, thought.

And now that they have everything you own on their truck they refuse to fulfil the delivery until you give them full payment. Now your belongings are being held hostage. So how can you avoid falling for the bait? Research! Taking time to review moving companies before you choose one is more than important, it’s critical.  Check more than the companies site, look on the BBB site, or Google to find reviews about the company before scheduling your move.

The Large Deposit

While it is normal for some moving businesses to ask for a small fee to hold a date for your move, they should not be asking you for a large deposit. If a mover is demanding cash or wants to put a significant deposit on your card, they aren’t the mover for you. Also, always pay with a credit or debit card, it will help you dispute charges with your bank should you be overcharged.

Going Rogue

Everything seems fine; the moving company arrives and loads all of your possessions on the truck. You pay them before they leave, and then you never see your stuff again. When you try to contact them, the phone number is disconnected, and there is no physical address for the business.

If you can find them, they will try and get large amounts of money to get your stuff back. To avoid being caught in this scam find a mover that has been around for a while, and that has a brick and mortar site.

The Blank Form

While this one seems obvious, people can be trusting, so it is important to know that if a mover gives you blank or incomplete documents to sign, DON’T SIGN THEM! Signing a blank contract can open you up to additional fees and charges you aren’t expecting. It is important that everything on any form you sign is filled out, and you are aware of what your estimated costs are, and you agree with them.

How to Avoid Other Scams

When you are moving the most important thing you can do is to research moving companies to find the reputable ones in your area. Make sure that the reviews seem genuine (another way to scam is to add fake positive feedback online) and that you meet with your moving company before signing any agreements. Other ways to avoid being scammed include making sure that the branding on the truck is consistent with the name of the business that you contacted and the same on any documents you sign.

You can also reach out to people you know to see who they used if they have moved recently, references are often the best way to find a reputable company. Once you have found a company, verify that it is licensed if you’re moving to another state. Interstate moving companies are required to be licensed, and that information can be found online.

We all want to save money, but making sure your belongings arrive on time and all in one piece is worth the time and effort it takes to find a trustworthy moving company. Knowing what scams are out there can help you avoid the dodgy movers before you are their next victim.