On Wednesday, the FMCSA announced the launch of a new campaign to combat moving fraud and to inform customers about how to spot the “red flags” of fraudulent and/or dishonest movers.
The campaign is called “Protect Your Move.” The FMCSA says it seeks to provide the 35 million Americans who move each year with the information they need to know to protect themselves and their property from unscrupulous movers.
“Moving is an exciting, but hectic time – the last thing families should have to worry about is whether or not their personal belongings will arrive at their new house,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “By showing consumers how to look out for red flags before they move, we are arming them with information they can use to protect themselves, their move and their memories.”
The goal of the campaign is to provide customers with information on how to spot “red flags” prior to their move. An educational video is on the Protect Your Move website. Additional resources include a moving fraud prevention checklist, a broker checklist and tips for a successful move. The site also allows users to search a company’s complaint history and safety records.
“Consumers need to know how to spot the bad movers and feel confident they are selecting a reliable, safe, and responsible moving company,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “While the majority of movers are reputable, consumers need to be aware of how to avoid those who are not.”
Nearly 6,000 moving companies are registered with the FMCSA. In 2012, the FMCSA received over 3,100 complaints about loss, damage, delays or companies holding their belongings hostage. ore than 5,800 household goods moving companies are registered with FMCSA.
Nationwide, the top ten cities with the greatest number of consumer complaints in 2012 were Los Angeles, New York, Houston, Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta, Austin, Orlando, San Antonio and San Diego.
Some of the most common “red flags” of fraudulent or dishonest moving companies include:
- Not providing an in-home estimate,
- Asking customers to sign incomplete documentation, and
- A company failing to register with FMCSA.
Consumers can report unsafe and poor performing moving companies by calling FMCSA’s nationwide complaint hotline at 1-888-368-7238 (1-888 DOT-SAFT) or by visiting www.protectyourmove.gov.