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    Red Flags for Moving Scams

    Moving is generally a hassle. If only someone else could do the entire thing for us for no money at all. That would be awesome. Unfortunately, the world isn’t so awesome, and for every service, there is a price. If we want someone else to relocate our entire household, we’ll have to pay them. And, usually, we’ll have to pay them more than we’d want. But, if we find a company cheap enough, they may not be that good. They can damage, or even steal, your things while they are moving them. So, in search of the cheapest and the most reliable option out there watch out for these red flags for moving scams.

    1. Not wanting to do an on-site inspection and estimate

    Two movers carefully putting some lamps in a box
    Reliable movers should be careful with your things.

    If your movers refuse to come to your household and inspect the things they’ll need to move, they are most likely scammers. Most moving companies give you the option of doing an online estimate of the moving cost. This is great to get the general idea of how much your move may cost. However, it is definitely not the final price of your move. Someone from the company should show up and inspect your things and finally give you a written estimate of the moving costs. If none of the above happens, get out of there! The movers can then complain that you have more stuff than estimated and they may require extra money to move it.

    2. Asking for a very large deposit

    So, they did check out your place and gave you an estimate, but now, they’re asking for insane amounts of money upfront. A  reputable company will ask for only about 10 – 20 percent of the final price as the deposit. A company asking for more should be one of the red flags for moving scams.

    3. Uniforms and logos

    an unmarked little truck
    A good moving company should have its own truck! You didn’t hire your mate Bob to help you, you hired pros.

    Even though it sounds silly, this is something you should pay extra attention to. Reputable movers in Northern Ontario all have uniforms for their movers with the logo and the name of the company clearly visible. Also, this goes for all their equipment. If your movers show up in a rental van, then something fishy is definitely going on.

    4. Lack of moving equipment

    You know the old saying – the craftsman is only as good as his tools. Well, although the same doesn’t apply to moving

    companies they should still have some equipment. Every professional mover should have:

    • measuring take (absence of this is one of the red flags for moving scams)
    • duct tape
    • wraps (bubble wrap, paper wrap, any wrap)
    • moving blankets
    • boxes (even specialized boxes for clothing or fragile items)


    moving equipment such as scissors, tape and markers
    The right movers have the right equipment

    If your movers show up empty handed, this should be a sign to use a different moving company. Movers without proper equipment may be scammers or they just may be incompetent movers. In both cases, you’ll want someone else to relocate your stuff.

    5. Serious red flags for moving scams: No Contract

    If your movers do not give you a contract you should be very concerned. Not only is this type of business very illegal (since without the contract they can go off the books) but also, you need a guarantee that the company will hold up their end of the deal. The contract is there to protect both parties of the business transaction. If the company you plan to hire doesn’t provide it hire a different company. Also, do not accept or sign any contract which hasn’t been filled out with information. Sometimes the movers say something like: “Hey, can you sign this piece of paper now and my boss will fill it out later. Please, I am in a rush.” Do not sign these as well. Request the meeting with this alleged “boss” and fill out the contract together. Sign only if you are 100% satisfied with the terms.

    6. Too good

    Sometimes, a moving company is perfect for us. Not only are they reliable and cheap movers Ontario, but they are also professional and nice. However, most of the time, when something is too good to be true it’s cause it’s not true. If a company that’s moving you to Ontario gives you free storage Sudbury for a small move, try calling or googling their facilities to check. Be careful of this kind of fraudulent movers. They are the worst. They look nice, they act nice and they work fine until they disappear with all your stuff.

    7. Not taking credit cards

    Even though there are a lot of cash-only businesses all over the country, this is not something that should fall into that category. Moving is expensive and most people don’t keep that much cash lying around, so it’s a good idea to ask this when you’re choosing your company.

    8. Lack of professionalism

    Being polite and professional over the phone is easy to fake. However, when someone answers the phone without giving the company’s name, or by just saying “moving” or “moving company”, you should be careful. Fraudulent companies try to cover their names, so you can’t sue them when they try to scam you.

    9. Weird information online

    a person seeing one of the red flags for moving scams after researching online
    Thoroughly research the moving companies you plan to hire

    Seeing only excellent and terrible reviews for a company is one of the red flags for moving scams. You should always do a lot of research about every company you’re thinking of hiring.

    10. That feeling that something’s wrong

    Trust your instincts! You are a wonder of billions of years of evolution, all leading to the moment of your moving day. So, don’t be afraid to trust yourself. Meet with the movers in person, and if something feels off, don’t hire them. This goes after doing all the research, though. No one has such perfect instincts to be able to know everything, and it’s the combination of both factors that will alert you to any more red flags for moving scams.