May is National Moving Month as it marks the start of peak moving season and the Better Business Bureau is here to share some tips on how to get the best movers and avoid getting scammed.

Keylen Villagrana with the BBB says that in 2021, 42% of all business inquiries on BBB.org for moving companies occurred from May-August, and nearly 1,100 complaints were filed with BBB against moving companies throughout the year. Additionally, consumers reported more than $730,000 lost to moving scams to BBB Scam Tracker, a 216% increase in monetary losses as compared to 2020. Of the 27 million people who moved from 2020-2021, nearly 30% were between the ages of 20-29.

Here are some tips to avoid getting scammed:

1. Ask for onsite inspections and estimates from at least three companies. Compare and determine whether there’s consistency or a company is low-balling you to lure you in.

  • Shady movers, referred to as “rogue operators,” bait consumers with low estimates and then surprise them with hefty, hidden fees. BBB consistently receives reports of rogue operators holding consumers’ items hostage until they pay the full amount.
  • Movers are required by law to deliver your goods for no more than 10% above the price of a non­binding estimate. This is known as the 110 percent rule enacted by the FMCSA in 2003.

2. Ensure the mover is properly registered, licensed, and insured in your state and with the DOT for interstate moves. After confirming whether the license number is legitimate, dig deeper and look for potential complaints on FMCSA’s website and BBB.org.

3. Released Value Protection is the basic option at no additional cost, but it only covers items at $0.60 cents per pound. Whereas the Full Value Protection covers the full replacement cost of lost or damaged goods.