moving scam

Spot moving scams

Spot moving scams in this age where moving is so complicated, emotional, and can end up being quite expensive. While these issues are common, you definitely don’t want to add another layer to an already intense process. With the current net migration rate for South Africa in 2023 set at 1.840 per 1000 population, there’s bound to be issues, like moving scams that crop up. This could involve dealing with an unlicensed mover, who might do anything from lose or damage your stuff, or even worse, take your money. 

While it might be tempting to go with a ‘guy with a van’ or an online ad that you saw, you have to be super careful with movers who aren’t registered even with CIPC. A big warning sign that you’re working with a fake mover is if they have no company registration number, which shows they are registered with the Companies Intellectual Properties Commission. All movers should be able to provide you with their address contact information, registration status, and what type of moving business they have.


No doubt, the best to way to know about a company is by listening to other customers. Their feedback on their experience is important to help you understand more about the moving company of your choice. Never ignore ratings. After you call and meet with a few movers, be sure to check out their rating and reviews on the Google, HelloPeter, Facebook and other credible independent online review organizations. Here, you’ll be able to see reviews, online complaints, company information, when they were incorporated, and their rating. A major red flag is if your prospective moving company has poor online ratings. Check ours on Google, HelloPeter, Home Improvement and Facebook.


In this modern day age, online presence has become more important than ever. You can easily see other customers’ reviews, check on a business’ offerings and services, see their terms and conditions, get to know of their operations, among other things. All legit businesses understand this concept and are available online. They have a well curated website that gives nearly all the information you may need before contracting them. See how to spot fake or scam websites here. If your potential moving company has no digital presence, then it may be time to ditch them.


Before you hire a mover, you should receive an estimate of how much your move will cost. This means that your potential mover should come to your house or apartment, or conduct online video survey with you (as per your convenience) to determine the size of your move and how much furniture you have. After they do this, you will receive a written estimate. This will help you lock in a price after you meet with a few movers. If a mover refuses to conduct a video or physical survey to provide a written estimate for an interstate move, you probably have a scammer on your hands.


While it might be tempting to go with a cheap moving estimate, we recommend getting multiple estimates so that you can compare various services and rates. A scammer provides “unusually high or unusually low estimates, compared to the other estimates.” A good rule for estimates, he noted is to “get estimates in writing from at least three different moving companies.” This will allow you to make an informed choice by comparing the company, their services and the multiple estimates.


Movers should know everything about moving inside and out. There should be no questions about your move–whether locally or cross-country–that stump them. You especially want to know what their policy is pertaining to any issues with your stuff. Bring up questions about their claims process, how they deal with damages or lost items. A sign that you might have a scammer is if your potential mover “seems uncertain or won’t give you answers, especially about the claims process.” 


Moving is a complicated process that you don’t want to make even more challenging by having movers that aren’t legitimate. From the onset of your move, you have to make sure that you are diligent as you look for movers. To spot moving scams is very easy if you start your preparations early and not last minute. It gives you time to request site visits where you can talk to the mover in person, viewing their company registration documents if they seem dodgy, receiving estimates and more. During this process, it’s important to be alert about anything that seems off, too good to be true, or shady. We hope that these moving tips will help you to avoid having to deal with any fake movers. All the best!


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