How to Avoid Moving-Related Fraud

May marks the start of the busiest moving seasons for Texans. It's also the time when consumers are most vulnerable to moving-related fraud. Now Austin and the trucking industry are working to crack down on so-called rogue movers. Andrew Schneider reports.

DMV Moving in Texas Texas law already requires that any company offering or providing moving services be licensed with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Now, with online moving scams on the rise, a bill that would toughen penalties for unlicensed movers is now speeding through the state legislature.

The bill has the backing of both the DMV and the Southwest Movers Association, an industry trade group. John Esparza, who heads the association, says one of the biggest dangers customers face is of rogue operators holding their goods hostage.

You always want to require an estimate in writing before you sign a formal contract, before anything is moved. The admission or the deletion of that step right there opens the door for a rogue scammer-mover to come in, try to get a survey of what you got, give you a price, make an agreement with you, and then load all your stuff up, move it, and say, ‘We moved way more than what we talked about. That $495 move’s now going to be $1495.’”

Many customers end up paying exorbitant fees to recover their goods, following weeks or even months of frustration.  To check whether a moving company is licensed or get more tips on moving, visit the DMV Moving in Texas Webpage

Bio photo of Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...