San Diego is known to be one of the most frequent cities in California. And that is not strange. Because of his geographic position, it is a hot destination to live and work in. There are numerous companies moving to this part of the state, or at least opening new branches in the city. That being the case, moving industry has significant growth in the past few years. As a consequence, a large number of frauds are being reported on a daily base. Currently, San Diego is among the top ten cities in the USA with the highest number of moving scam reports. Avoiding fraudulent moving companies in San Diego can be hard, as they are using marketing experts and learning new tricks every day.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, all of them are having the same goal – to steal your money. They will try to deceive and confuse you in the ways you couldn’t dream of in your worst nightmares. Unfortunately, playing on cards like compassion and giving false promises, they are often successful in their intentions.
How to recognize fraudulent moving companies in San Diego
As mentioned above, it is not an easy job to discern if the moving company is a good one or not. They are hiring advertising experts, sales professionals, and brand managers to attract your attention. But this should not scare you. There are much less fraudulent moving companies in San Diego than the good and reliable ones. If you do extensive and detailed research, you will minimize your chance of being deceived. Ask your friend or a business partner to recommend a company that they used for relocation. Or maybe they know someone who had good experience with this. It can save you a lot of money and nerves.
Red flags during background research of moving companies
Pay attention to the experiences of other people with moving scams. There is a huge number of stories on the internet that can help you during your research. Focus your attention towards experiences with moving scams in San Diego. Independent forums are always a good choice but be careful. Fraudulent moving companies can also have their representatives or employees leaving false stories to mislead you. Use your common sense to recognize if someone’s judgment is genuine or untruthful. There are official websites that list licensed mover companies in California state. Once you find moving company that looks interesting to you, look for it on such websites.
Most common tricks used by fraudulent moving companies in San Diego
All in all, there are several most common ways of allurement. Promising low fares, safe transport in no time and lowballing can bring you in temptation.
Your belongings are held captive
This is one of the worst scenarios that can happen. And this is not a scam. It is illegal and considered to be the criminal act. In the beginning, everything seems to be normal and professional. Loading workers are polite and gentle with your stuff. They carefully pack everything and load the truck. A lot of paperwork is often included such as packing list, pre-payment invoice, and transport route. You sign everything, shake hands, and the truck hits the road. This is the point where your nightmare begins. There are several variations of what will happen next:
- You will meet moving company truck at the destination, but they will refuse to unlock it before you pay additional arrears. Basically, they are blackmailing
- You will not find the truck at the previously agreed destination, but you will receive a phone call. The fraudulent moving company will notify you that they are holding your belongings as a hostage until you pay the extra money. This is called illegal ransom.
- You will not meet the truck at its destination, nor you’ll receive a phone call. And once you try to contact them, you will find out that the number is not active. This is theft.
But do not be afraid. This type of scam is the most radical one, and it can never happen with the company which is in the business for a long time. In case you find yourself in the middle of this situation, the first thing you need to do is notifying the police. As I stated before, this is a criminal act. Make sure you double-check and save all paperwork so you can present it as the proof of your compliance in a court of law.
Huge deposits in advance
This is the typical characteristic of fraudulent moving companies in San Diego. They promise you everything you want to hear and then ask for an unreasonable deposit in advance. What you should do is to raise a big stop sign. Sounds too good to be true? Pass on it. If you pay them in advance, most probably they will never show up. Check with a couple of moving agencies what would deposit amount be. This way nobody can fool you around asking silly amounts in advance.
Most moving companies are charging their fee based on the weight of the loaded truck. There are two most common tricks with the scale. Either they weigh your belongings in your absence and present you much higher weight which means the greater fee. Or they simply “forget” to deduct full tank of gas. By the federal law, you have the right to be present at the weigh and re-weigh. Use this right. Or much better, avoid weight-based deals.
Changing the deal on D-day
So, how does this one go? You find a company for your move for a certain price. On the day of the move, they call you to tell that truck signed for your moving won’t start. Or they have no free trucks. They propose to postpone moving for next week. But, if you are in a hurry, they have a proposal tailored just for you. If you pay extra (which is sometimes almost twice as agreed) they are willing to help you and find an alternative solution. Just hang up. There are plenty other moving companies in San Diego that will be more than happy to comply with the agreement.