Moving can be a stressful time, and the last thing you need is to fall victim to a scam mover. Unfortunately, it’s more common than you might think. Scammers prey on people’s understandable desire to save money during a pricey move, so it’s essential to be vigilant. WayForth’s CEO and Co-Founder, Craig Shealy, states, “Protecting seniors from moving scams is the most critical thing. After helping thousands of seniors downsize, we have seen many examples of scams and misleading tactics used to defraud seniors. At WayForth, we go to great lengths to avoid that!

According to a study conducted by, 65% of Americans who were scammed feel like it could have been avoided. Here are seven tips to help protect yourself from scam movers as well as some additional resources you should be aware of as the busy moving season approaches.

7 Tips on How to Protect Yourself from Scam Movers

1. Do Your Research

Don’t just hire the first mover you come across. Look for online reviews and ratings from past customers. Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed against the company. Look for mover associations and certifications that prove the company is legitimate. Doing your homework could save you a great deal of money, time, and hassle in the long run.

Choosing a reliable company these days can be difficult. Read our blog for tips on how to Find the Right Move Management and Moving Company.

2. Get a Written Estimate

Always get a written estimate of the total cost before signing a contract. Don’t rely on verbal agreements or estimates over the phone. Know exactly what you’re paying for, including any additional fees or surcharges. Some scam movers will offer a low quote initially, only to hike up prices later by adding fees not mentioned in the contract.

3. Insurance and Coverage

Ask if they carry insurance and find out what type of coverage, they offer in case something is damaged or lost during the move. Legitimate movers will carry insurance that covers damages that occur during transportation. Without it, you’ll be responsible for the costs of any damage.

4. Review the terms of service

Take your time to review the terms carefully and don’t sign it until you understand everything. Read the fine print and ask for clarification on anything you don’t understand. Look for the cancellation policy in case you need to change your moving date or cancel entirely. A legitimate mover will make sure you understand everything before you sign.

5. Get Their Contact Information

Get contact information for the company and their employees in case you need to follow up on anything during or after your move. Make sure to get a working phone number and email address for the company in case anything goes wrong. If you have any questions, contact the company directly rather than relying on a third party. Make sure the company provides accurate addresses to avoid fraudulent activities.

6. Make a List (or Request One)

Make sure to make a list of the content in your home, especially your most treasured items. Or get a copy of the inventory list with all items being moved. This list will act as a record and can be used to verify that all items arrived at your new home. Don’t be afraid to ask for a copy of the list, even if the movers are in a hurry. Make sure the inventory list is detailed and accurate to prevent damage, missing or stolen goods.

7. Never Pay the Full Amount Upfront

Legitimate movers won’t ask for full payment before the move is complete. They’ll usually only ask for a deposit upfront (a 25% deposit is the standard). If the mover demands full payment before the move or requires a large deposit, it could be a sign of a scam. Instead, only pay after the move is complete, and you’ve verified that all your items are there and in good condition.

Additional Resources to Help Protect Your Move

With the recent launch of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Operation Protect Your Move initiative, there will be extra precautions to keep a watchful eye on movers with ill intentions. According to a recent article, posted by the Department of Transportation, “Through Operation Protect Your Move, FMCSA is deploying dozens of investigators across the country in an enforcement sweep to address the significant uptick in complaints of movers holding household possessions hostage to extort exorbitant additional charges from consumers.” This crackdown aims to safeguard consumers’ rights and keep scammers at bay.

The FMCSA is giving people moving across state lines the tools they need for a successful and safe move. provides helpful resources, such as videos and moving checklists to recognize potential red flags when selecting a mover or broker. You can also check out company reviews in the National Consumer Complaints Database (NCCDB), and don’t forget to utilize their online portal to provide feedback on FMCSA-regulated moving companies you’ve worked with.

Enjoy Your Move with Peace of Mind

Moving is a stressful process, but if done right, it can be successful and rewarding. Taking time to protect yourself during the move will save you time and energy in the long run. Making sure that the mover you choose is experienced and has a good reputation will help eliminate any bad experiences. Additionally, taking inventory of all your items before packing them up and understanding the insurance policy upfront will ensure that any damages are addressed responsibly if they occur. With these tips, you can stay safe while moving and have an enjoyable relocation experience.

Let WayForth help you with your next move by utilizing our personalized services. These include downsizing, space planning, packing and moving, unpacking and settling into your new home. Contact our moving professionals today at 1.844.WAYFORTH.



NCCDB – National Consumer Complaint Database (

FMCSA Launches Operation Protect Your Move, A Nationwide Crackdown on Moving Scams | US Department of Transportation

About the Author: Craig Shealy

A longtime entrepreneur, Craig has spent his entire 20-plus year career building businesses designed to help people. But it wasn’t until co-founding WayForth that he truly felt that lifelong mission come to fruition. Before co-founding WayForth, Craig was Managing Principal for BlackCreek Group, helping fellow entrepreneurs get access to the funding and resources they needed to launch successful startups. The Princeton grad helped cofound various startups throughout his career and has covered operations, sales, business development, finance and strategy for companies including Nextel, Microsoft and Lehman Brothers.
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