10 Ways to Spot a Rogue Mover

November 21, 2023

There are scammers in each industry, and unfortunately, the moving industry is no exception. Luckily, there are clear signs you can follow to avoid hiring rogue movers, and we are happy to share them with you.

10 Ways to Spot a Rogue Mover

This article will introduce you to ten ways in which you can avoid rogue movers, and have a successful relocation to your dream house.

1. Low price

Low price is the number one way in which you can spot a rogue mover as this is their most common way to attract customers. They will tell you a ridiculously low price, which is even up to 40% lower than the one of legitimate moving companies. If you are moving on a budget, or don't have experience with moving quotes, this will be a tempting offer you won`t refuse. This is why it is important to get quotes from at least three moving companies to get a real sense of how much the moving will cost you.

2. Cash only policy

A moving company may offer you a discount if you are paying for everything in cash. But, rogue movers will have a cash only policy, which is a major red flag. They don`t want to have any written records associated with them, as they just want to get away with your money. If the company offers several ways in which you can pay them, they are not likely to be scammers.

3. They ask for a large deposit

Rogue movers will try to take as much money as possible even before the actual move begins. A normal amount for a discount is up to 20% of the entire move, but some companies will never ask you for a deposit. If you pay scammers upfront, chances are you will never see your money again. Having someone else take care of all of your belongings is risky, but knowing these clear signs will help you avoid rogue movers.

4. Lack of on-site estimate

The best way for movers to decide what service you require and how many items will you transport is through an on-site estimate. A qualified member of a moving company will come into your home and carefully go through all the belongings you will relocate. Then you will get a written estimate with an estimate of the final cost. Rogue movers will try to tell you everything over the phone, as they just want to finish everything fast.

5. They are not licensed

All interstate and international movers must be licensed with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) and have a USDOT number that you can check. Local moving companies are not required to be licensed in this way in some states, but you should check whether this applies to your state as well. The USDOT number will give you insight into how the moving company operates as you check the complaints, the condition of vehicles, how many employees they have, and a lot more.

6. Unprofessional customer service

A professional moving company will always be at your disposal, as they will try to answer all of the questions you may have, and resolve all potential and existing issues. If you cannot reach your movers easily via phone, mail, or chat, or even if they answer they behave unprofessionally, chances are that you are dealing with a scam moving company. Remember, your questions are welcome, and you should always express your concern about any part of the moving process.

7. Lack of contract or blank documents

Rogue movers will avoid sending you any written document, including the contract. Every single decision that you agree upon with your movers should be visible in the contract. This includes additional fees, all services included such as packing, storing, unpacking, insurance, etc. If they want to bring the contract for you to sign on a moving day, be careful and read all the fine print. This is the most common way in which your movers want to take advantage of your situation. Since there is no time left to change the contract, and you are all packed up and ready to leave, you may be pressured into overpaying for the moving process.

8. Lack of physical address

Go to your moving company`s website and search for the physical address. If there is not any, you can completely abandon the idea of hiring them. A professional moving company will always have an existing physical address where all of their equipment is stored. Even if there is a physical address written on the website, check it out on Google Maps. You should be able to see the actual buildings. If you have the time, go in person to check the headquarters of your moving company to avoid hiring rogue movers.

9. Missing logo

When movers arrange for the relocation of your belongings, it is only natural that they want to advertise themselves. They will place their logo on their moving truck, or a van, on the uniforms of their movers, they may give you a leaflet with their services, etc. If you notice that they arrive in a rented van, wearing casual clothes, we recommend that you don`t trust them with your belongings.

10. Multiple names

If your moving company operates under two or three different names, this is a red flag that exposes scammers easily. Sites like BBB rate moving companies based on their performance, and bad reviews will lead movers to rename their company so that they can continue to scam people.

Final word

Follow this guide for avoiding rogue movers, and you will have a great moving experience. Rogue movers can only try to scam you, but you will be able to steer clear of them. They have similar ways of operating, and they make mistakes just like all the scammers do. Hiring a professional moving company may not be easy, but it is certainly possible with just a little bit of research and effort. Good luck!