moving scam

How to Spot and Avoid Moving Scams in South Africa – Expert Tips for a Fraud-Free Relocation Experience

Detecting fraudulent moving practices is crucial in the midst of the complexities, emotions, and potential expenses associated with relocation. In the context of South Africa’s 2023 net migration rate standing at 1.840 per 1000 population, the emergence of moving scams becomes a significant concern. Engaging with an unlicensed mover in this scenario can lead to various issues, such as the loss or damage of belongings and, worse, financial losses.

While the allure of hiring a ‘guy with a van’ or responding to an online ad may be strong, exercising caution, especially with movers unregistered with the Companies Intellectual Properties Commission (CIPC), is paramount. A clear indicator of a potentially fraudulent mover is the absence of a company registration number linked to the CIPC. Legitimate movers should readily provide their address, contact details, registration status, and details about their moving business.

Poor Ratings:

A reliable way to gauge a moving company’s credibility is through customer feedback. Explore ratings and reviews on platforms like Google, HelloPeter, Facebook, and other independent online review organizations. A major warning sign is a moving company with consistently low ratings. Check our ratings on Google, HelloPeter, Home Improvement, and Facebook.

Lack of Online Presence:

In the digital age, a credible online presence is essential. Legitimate businesses have well-crafted websites that offer comprehensive information. If a potential moving company lacks a digital presence, it may be cause for concern.

Absence of Estimates:

Before finalizing a mover, ensure you receive a detailed estimate of the moving costs. Reputable movers will assess your belongings either in person or through an online video survey and provide a written estimate. Beware of scammers who refuse to provide estimates or conduct proper assessments.

Unusual Estimates:

While opting for a cost-effective estimate is tempting, suspiciously high or low estimates should raise red flags. Obtain written estimates from at least three different moving companies to make an informed decision.

Lack of Knowledge:

Competent movers should possess comprehensive knowledge of the moving process. If a potential mover seems uncertain or avoids answering crucial questions about their services, claims process, or handling damaged items, it could indicate potential fraud.


In conclusion, navigating the intricacies of a move demands diligence in selecting legitimate movers. Early preparations, including site visits, scrutinizing company registration documents, obtaining estimates, and asking pertinent questions, play a crucial role in avoiding scams. Stay alert for anything that appears suspicious or too good to be true. These tips aim to empower individuals to sidestep the pitfalls of dealing with fake movers. Best of luck with your move!


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