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AMSA Provides Consumer Tips to ABC-TV's 20/20 to Combat Moving Fraud

March 10, 2014

(Alexandria, VA) — With springtime quickly approaching, a new report on ABC-TV's 20/20 about moving fraud demonstrates that more customers must remain vigilant when selecting a mover, according to the American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA), the national trade organization for the professional moving industry, which is again offering important tips to avoid getting ripped off.

"It's never too early to remind consumers about the expected seasonal increase in moving fraud perpetrated by con artists out to victimize them," said Linda Bauer Darr, AMSA president and CEO. "The key is to always know who you're dealing with, which is the purpose of our ProMover certification program. We screen these movers before they're authorized to display the ProMover logo, which signifies they are a trusted company."

The ABC News program, which aired March 7, recounted problems encountered by consumers moving cross-country who failed to make sure the company they had hired was a legitimate mover. Darr worked with ABC to explain what the moving industry's best practices are, and the network has posted her top tips on its 20/20 website for making a move a smooth and reasonably-priced experience. Among them are:

  1. Hire a mover with an established track record, not the one that just pops up first on your Google search. Darr advises to always look for the ProMover logo
  2. Get multiple in-home estimates
  3. Choose a binding estimate to avoid surprises; then, by law, a mover can't charge more than 10 percent beyond the estimate
  4. Know whether you are dealing with the mover directly, or going through a middlemen (or broker)
  5. Ask for the receipt the mover receives at the weigh station that says exactly how much your load weighs
  6. Be clear when you want your belongings delivered, but be flexible, too
  7. One burly dude alone cannot move your possessions, so be wary if just one person shows up
  8. Report the worst-case scenario of property being "held hostage" to the authorities and to AMSA

"We are redoubling our efforts to remind consumers of the need to select reputable movers, such as certified ProMovers; to encourage programs to help consumers who find themselves in trouble; and to focus resources to get these criminals out of the marketplace," added Darr.

For detailed information about making a safe, professional move, visit www.moving.org.