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Fla. Attorney General Warning: Beware of Moving Scams

In the wake of recent complaints, AG Ashley Moody warned movers about tricks some companies use, including a refusal to unload a truck until buyers pay more money.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Attorney General’s Office is warning Floridians of a potential increase in moving scams as home sales skyrocket.

According to recent reports, the sale of single-family homes in Florida surged by 22.5% in 2020, far ahead of the nationwide increased of 5.6%.

With that kind of surge comes an influx of new residents and demand for moving services.

In the wake of recent complaints about moving services, Attorney General Ashley Moody has issued a Consumer Alert to help consumers avoid moving-related scams.

“If you are a Floridian buying a new house or moving here from out of state to enjoy our great weather and growing economy, be wary of moving scams,” warns the Attorney General. “From refusing to provide a written estimate to requiring a large, upfront deposit or payment in cash, these are all red flags that consumers can look for to help them identify a potential moving scam and avoid falling prey.”

Common moving scams involve movers packing up and transporting household goods and then refusing to release them until the consumer pays an additional high fee. Another scheme used by fraudsters is giving a low-ball offer to secure a moving job but then increasing the rate significantly upon arrival and threatening to avoid doing the job unless paid up front.

To guard against these and other moving scams, consumers should:

Never sign any blank or incomplete documents or contracts

  • Obtain moving estimates and quotes from the company in writing – and make sure the estimates are binding
  • Determine whether the movers will perform the move alone or if the company will be subcontracting with another carrier
  • Beware if movers show up in rental trucks without uniformed personnel

More helpful tips and red flags regarding moving scams can be found in the Scams at a Glance: On the Move brochure.

Interstate moving scams can be reported to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Intrastate moving scams can be reported to the Florida Attorney General’s Office by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or filing a complaint online at MyFloridaLegal.com.

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