Recently two New Jersey moving companies have been held for attracting customers with low estimates and then holding their belongings hostage for increased prices and in one case for even sex. Eighty seven consumers have lodged complaints against these companies who were victims of the ‘bait-and-switch’ trick. The companies have been reported to make it compulsory for the customers to sign blank or unfinished forms and later filled in the blanks with excessive charges. The added amount inflated the total cost of every moving ranging from $500 to $4,940. Thus the average total cost would be $1,400 which was over 500% more than the original $210 estimate. When the customers refused to pay, the companies used to lock up their goods and refused to return them, and in one case, they even demanded sex for decreasing the cost. Reportedly, the companies drove away with the belongings, didn’t return them for several days and when they did, several items were either missing or damaged. The companies operated with several fake names and their owners too took fake names while interacting with the customers. The names with which they were arrested at last are not registered as moving companies. And some fake names they took were of some other companies which are having no relation to these guys.

All this drama gives rise to vital questions about how to find out whether a moving company is genuine or not.

You hire a moving company to ease out your relocation process. When a moving company takes the responsibility to move your belongings and family safely to the new place, you can do all your other pending chores without stress. However before hiring such a company, you should know about the dangers you may face with some fraudulent moving companies like the above-given NJ companies. If you know about them, you may be more vigilant while looking for a moving service and can protect yourself from fraud companies.

Company having no Physical Address

Ensure that the company is having a physical address. If it doesn’t have one, there are high chances that it is fraud. If they are having a brick and mortar address, you can easily visit it and check out if they are properly registered and about other details for yourself.

Company not having their Own Truck

You should check beforehand which truck the company will be using while shifting your belongings. If the company is reputable, it must use its own truck. If you find the truck with some other name and not having the moving company’s name, it means that it is brought on rent and the company is not reliable. You should change the company in such a case.

Low Estimates without Checking

It is best to invite free estimates from different moving companies in order to avoid falling victim to a moving scam. These are only estimates and not an obligatory contract. And when you get the estimate, you should ensure that they check your belongings which are to be moved which enables them to give more precise estimate. If they quote without checking, it is quite sure that they will charge you more at the time of moving, just like the ‘bait-and-switch’ trick given above.


Even if you may be told that the moving insurance is enough, always go for more insurance or buy insurance on your own so as to safeguard yourself from scams. This prevents you from being accountable for any lost, damaged or stolen objects. In addition, it makes the moving company answerable for your belongings when the damage was caused when the goods were in their custody.

You should also be aware of where to lodge a complaint if you are cheated by a moving company. Discuss with your friends and relatives who might know more about moving services. Also look for online discussions on forums about moving company scams and ask your difficulties. People are always ready to spread a word and help. You can also ask opinion about a particular company you are planning to hire for your relocation. Lots of people will give their experiences which will help you to decide whether the company is reliable or not. And with all this data, you can take a more educated decision about hiring a company which will truly make your moving comfortable.