Moving Scams and How to Spot Them

Scammers are everywhere. You don’t need me to tell you that. We all know that charlatans are lurking in every corner of society waiting for the moment when they can pounce and squeeze any dollar they can out of us. Though we might always be on our guard, we can still fall victim to their schemes. Unfortunately, scammers seem to have infiltrated the moving industry. Fly-by-night moving “companies” are constantly popping up to plague consumers. Knowledge is your best defense against moving scams. The more you know, the less likely you are to fall victim. First, let’s talk about some of the more commonly-known schemes:

Holding Your Personal Belongings Hostage

This is the most prevalent shady tactic. The company will quote you a lower price, pack up your belongings, and drive off. The next time you hear from them, they will be telling you that the price was actually higher than the quote and start demanding triple or even quadruple than what was originally agreed upon. They will not give up your property until you agree to pay the charges.


This one usually goes hand-in-hand with hostage taking. Again, it will start with a low quote, but there will be hidden charges that you don’t find out about until after they have your items. These charges could include arbitrary things like items were packed “wrong”, things were too heavy, parking was not convenient at your new home, and other silly things. It is just an excuse to get more money from you.

Advance Payment

Sometimes you don’t even see a truck. The company asks for an unusually high deposit; you pay it and then never hear from them again.

Straight-Out Theft

The worst kind of scammers will take your money and then just abandon the (usually rented) truck in a parking lot. Sometimes they even take your personal belongings.

How can you protect yourself from a moving scam? Remember- the power is completely in your hands. No one can force you to sign a contract. Scammers look for three qualities in potential victims: the desire to get a low price; the need for a quick decision; and desperation. Even if you are in dire straits, make your moving decision carefully and thoughtfully. You will avoid more problems. Here are a couple of red flags to look for when selecting a moving company:

  • An extremely low price quote. If it is too good to be true, it probably is!
  • The company has no physical address or it is just a residential home.
  • There is no website; every company has a website in this age.
  • No online reviews.
  • They accept only cash.

Of course, the best way to avoid a moving scam is by going with a moving company that is fully bonded, licensed, and insured who also has a top-notch reputation in Toronto and the surrounding area that can be backed up by  testimonials. Best Canadian Movers is that type of moving company. With over 20 years of service in the southern Ontario area, you will always get what you ordered with Best Canadian Movers. Call us today and we will give you peace of mind about your move.