Avoiding Moving Company Scams Avoiding Moving Company Scams Hiring the wrong moving company can turn a homebuyer's dream experience into a nightmare. Moving scams can leave families susceptible to stolen items, fees that far exceed original estimates, or even their belongings being held hostage until a large sum of money is paid. Protect your clients from deceptive practices by helping them select a reputable moving company. Here are some tips to share: Review movers who have been vetted and certified by the American Moving & Storage Association's (AMSA) ProMover program. Movers must adhere to the membership code of conduct and maintain "Satisfactory" or better ratings by the Better Business Bureau to belong. Also check complaint histories with the Department of Transportation mover search tool. Get three in-home estimates. These are most accurate because movers can see exactly what will be moved. For out-of-state moves, ask for a written binding estimate or a not-to-exceed estimate, which caps charges. Locate the proper credentials. The Department of Transportation (DOT) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) require motor carrier numbers for movers hauling across state lines. Also, many states require DOT numbers for in-state moves. These should be posted on mover websites. Don't pay deposits greater than 20 percent of the estimated cost of the move. Make deposits with a credit card, so charges may be disputed in case of a problem.