Choose a reputable moving company
Beware of Ghost Movers, Move Brokers and Moving Scams!
Ghost Movers or Move Brokers are typically people with websites that advertise Moving Services or Online Quotes on Search Engines and Social Media websites. Their websites look like they are legitimate Moving Companies and may claim to be members of reputable Moving Associations, when in fact they are not. They often offer online quotes without surveying the goods in your home and their quote may appear to be “too-good-to-be-true”. Ghost Movers or Move Brokers often resell your move to other moving companies whose terms and conditions are different than that of the original website. They may also subcontract your move to small moving companies for profit leaving your goods in the hands of a Rogue Mover.
Regardless of whether or not you book your moving service with Guardian, please do your due diligence and beware of the following characteristics and scam tactics to protect yourself from a moving scam.
- Obtain a cost estimate in writing, preferably after an on-site walk-through of your residence.
- Don’t select a mover based on price alone. In many cases, you get what you pay for and in some cases they hide additional undisclosed charges.
- Moves are often quoted by estimated weight ($/lbs). Without an onsite home survey, it’s very difficult to accurately estimate pack, load and transportation costs. Some brokers may under quote the weight to appear more affordable than others, however, when your move is weighed at a weight scale, the actual $/lbs results in higher than quoted cost.
- A Ghost Mover or Move Broker does not offer or require an on-site inspection (survey) of your residence and household goods.
- They only give you an estimate over the phone or Internet. The estimates often sound “too-good-to-be-true”. In reality, they usually are.
- The company’s website lists no local commercial address or phone number. They often work from their residence and use a cell phone.
- Is the moving company’s only form of acceptable payment cash or is a large deposit required before the move.
- Look for and verify information about association memberships (CAM, AMSA, IAM).
- Do they have a warehouse and their own company branded vehicles.
- Ensure you’re not liable for injuries to movers that may occur on your property by asking for WSIB certificate.
- Is your mover part of a recognized van line, such as Allied or North American Van Lines.
Finally, always ask three reputable movers for estimates in writing. If you have a bad feeling about your mover’s tactics or charges, stop the move before your household goods are loaded on the truck. Rogue Mover’s have been known to hold goods until a cash payment is received in full.
Recent news article and warnings on Moving Scams
CBC Market Place TV show on Rogue Movers and Moving Scams