10 Ways to Avoid Internet Moving Scams

If you're looking for an inexpensive moving company on the Internet, you'd better do your homework first, or your furniture won't be the only thing that gets taken for a ride. These ten tips will help you avoid moving scams.

"The nation's moving and storage industry is made up of courteous, hard working, dedicated professionals," said Linda Darr, president of the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA). "Unfortunately, there are some unscrupulous characters who are sullying our industry's good name by using the Internet to prey on people during a very stressful time in their lives. Make no mistake, these people are not movers, they are criminals. And we're trying to put them out of business."

To address the problem, AMSA developed 10 tips that will help families avoid Internet moving scams.

  • Don't be fooled by slick websites. Anyone with a few bucks and a good IT person can build a professional-looking website. Don't be fooled by the flash.
  • Locate their operating license. Every professional interstate moving company will proudly display their U.S. Department of Transportation license and their Motor Carrier number on their website. If you don't see the license number, move on to another website.
  • Look for the 'brick and mortar.' Make sure the website lists a street address and then do a quick Google search to see if it really exists.
  • Get at least three written in-home estimates. The Internet is full of 'moving cost estimators,' but the only estimate that counts is one offered by a professional mover who visits your home.
  • Check references. If a company displays the Better Business Bureau or AMSA logo, verify that they are using these seals legitimately by contacting AMSA or the BBB.
  • Avoid companies that require large deposits or down payments. Professional movers generally do not require a deposit, so avoid those that do.
  • Avoid Internet brokers. People who enter their contact information on websites that promise to find movers often find themselves inundated with aggressive scam artists.
  • Be skeptical. Remember: if you receive an estimate that seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Use an AMSA mover. To find an AMSA mover and to learn more about protecting yourself during your move, visit AMSA's consumer website, moving.org.
Keep Reading

Next Up

Real Estate Investing

Before you invest in real estate, it's important to look at carrying costs, closing costs, commissions and capital gains taxes. Here's why.

Real Estate Survival Guide: Seller's Checklist

Refer to this 10-step checklist to get you through the home-selling process.

Real Estate Survival Guide: Buyer's Checklist

Refer to this 10-step checklist to get you through the homebuying process.

Campus Cribs: Buying Real Estate Property for Your College Student

Buying a space for your student could turn out to be a great investment.

10 Ways to Prep Your Home for Sale

Make your home stand out with a few easy improvements.

Moving Checklist: 4 Tips to Get You Going

Moving to a new home? Here are four tips to get the ball rolling.

Fresh News for 'Fixer Upper' Fans: Chip and Joanna to Open 'Hillcrest Estate' in Waco

Chip and Joanna Gaines announce their latest project — a beautifully restored colonial style home that will open as a vacation rental property.

Moving Checklist

Use this week-by-week checklist to plan your move to a new home.

7 Ways to Make Moving Easier (and Way More Fun!)

Yup, you read it right. We've got tips to make moving day less of a burden.

10 Ways To Deal With Japanese Beetles

Beat back Japanese beetles with a few of these strategies.

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.