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Preventing Moving Scams

By Beth Drucker

Shipping your property from one home to another is expensive. There's no way around that. Unfortunately, some people are willing to exploit you, and when they take the form of movers they get pleasure out of adding on to your already exorbitant bill. Between 10% and 15% of Americans move annually, and of them about 3,000 ? 4,000 file complaints about having been scammed by their movers. The following are some of the most common scams people face.

Movers often base their prices off of the weight they're shipping, which scammers will lie about. Some have even gone so far as to weigh the weight of the couch ? with them on top. And those individuals don't stop there?they'll add their weight to everything they can, adding thousands of dollars to your price. You have every right to watch as they weigh your belongings so they cannot cheat you.

You'll want to be pretty sure about the price before the movers load your property onto their truck. Some movers have been known to refuse to unload the contents until after the owner pays the entire bill, including the money they shouldn't owe. Some such cases had to be resolved in court, which is yet another hassle to deal with. In fact, you'll want to be clear on the moving company's policy for determining the bill so you can avoid having them tell you one estimate and charge you three times as much.

One last thing to watch out for is movers who roughly handle belongings. Some of them scuff up the furniture or even tear some of it accidentally. And then they'll claim that they're not responsible for the damage. The damage can occur anytime ? when they're loading the truck, in transit, or when they're unloading. Make sure ahead of time that they'll be held accountable for damaged or missing property.

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