It’s moving season, and scammers are taking advantage

Published: Aug. 4, 2023 at 6:18 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Summertime is prime moving season, but some people are not only dealing with the stress of moving, but they’ve also become victims of scammers in the process.

There are con artists out there posing as movers, providing an estimate and taking deposits, but never show up to move your stuff.

Some scammers estimate a price based on weight or volume but switch gears after loading your items and tell you your items weigh much more than the quote, then charge you significantly more than you budgeted.

Others will load your items, but never arrive at your new home-either stealing your belongings or holding them hostage until you pay an additional fee.

The Ohio Attorney General’s office is arming consumers with some red flags and things to consider when you’re choosing a mover.

  • If the company doesn’t list an address or provide information about its registration and/or insurance coverage, be suspicious. Same goes for one that uses rented trucks instead of their own marked ones.
  • Avoid providing a large down payment, paying in full before the move, or paying in cash unless the work’s been done.
  • Make sure you get a written contact and read the terms to firm up when your belongings will be picked up and delivered.
  • Get in person or virtual estimates because scammers usually avoid those.
  • Take photos before and after the move in case you have insurance claims for broken or damaged items.
  • Move important things, like personal documents, yourself.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost says it’s important to call law enforcement if you’ve been ripped off.

“Even if they can’t find the perpetrator, they need to know, because there might be a pattern. You might not be the only one. Your case might lead to another case that leads to the person that did it,” he said.

Yost says the consumer protection section of his office uses the data victims provide to understand what’s going on in the marketplace and better protect consumers.

If you need to report a scam to the Scam Squad, visit their website, Scam Squad - Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs or call 216-443-7226.