Buyer beware – there’s a Craigslist scam going around the Puget Sound area where a moving company claims to be reputable, even cites a business license, address and phone number. The problem is when they get your belongings in their truck, they’re holding them for ransom, four to five times the amount of the original agreement. One victim refused to pay, and the suspect stole $40,000 worth of property.
Here are precautions you can take to protect yourself when hiring movers –
- Hire a local company – avoid doing business solely over the internet
- Get at least three estimates – be suspicious of unusually low bids or estimates given over the phone or internet without someone inspecting the job in person.
- Verify credentials – confirm the moving company is permitted by the Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC). The UTC regulates residential moving companies conducting moves within Washington state. A moving company operating in Washington must have a valid UTC permit. If you are moving in-state, check out Movers (wa.gov). If you are moving across state lines, check the company’s permit status with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) or call 1-800-637-0637.
- Do your research – check out this article from Consumer Reports for more information on choosing a reliable moving company.