From time to time, moving horror stories hit the news. CAM posts these media stories to help educate consumers about the pitfalls and extreme tactics that the rogue element will use against uninformed consumers. It doesn't matter if it's in the USA or Canada, they scheme the same.
It truly is your responsibility to know who's moving you and all of your worldly possessions.
Here are a few of the more recent stories.
Various police services are now involved in the recent Toronto Police Service investigations into a group of Toronto-based moving scam operators. Read about the investigations, media stories and victim advice here. (2022)
*new* June 28, 2022 - Canadian Association of Movers Warns of the Increase in Moving Scams
“CAM has seen an increase in the number of incidents in which consumers are being victimized by rogue operations who call themselves movers,” says Nancy Irvine, President of the Canadian Association of Movers. “This trend has skyrocketed in the past few years, during the pandemic, with opportunistic, faceless scammers capitalizing on the new trend in which 90% of consumers go online to source their services,” she continues. Read the full press release below.
December 17, 2021 - 'Lost the good memories': Calgary couple details 'horrible' experience with moving company
Understand your moving protection before you move!
A couple who moved to Calgary from Regina in the summer lost everything after a Canada’s Leading Van Lines (CLVL) truck carrying their belongings caught fire during transport. The couple claims the insurance company, Claimspro, was not cooperative and ultimately told them the moving company’s insurance wouldn’t cover the damage and loss and that they should file with their home insurance provider and still pay for their move upfront - even though the service didn't happen. Read more of the CTV Calgary report here.
December 6, 2021 - Toronto police issue warning of online moving scam
The Toronto Police Service has issued a warning over an online moving scam after multiple victims came forward reporting being asked to pay hundreds of dollars more. Check out the CityNews report here.
October 8, 2021 - Police would like to warn the public about concerns related to the hiring of companies to move you between properties.
Since September 2021, there were five incidents in the Ajax/Pickering area in which police were called to a dispute between members of the public and employees of moving companies. In each instance, the citizen reported entering into a contact with a predetermined and written quoted price to complete the move of their possessions between properties. After their possessions were loaded on the moving truck the employees demanding additional funds to complete the move. The demand came with the threat to unload the truck where it was. In one case the citizen refused to pay the additional amount and their possessions were unloaded onto the parking lot of a gas station.
Consumers must always be vigilant when entering into a contract (may it be verbal or written). Ensure you fully understand the meaning of the contract wording and determine the true cost before signing. Moving residences is stressful enough.
The Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services provides consumer protection tips and file complainants at https://www.ontario.ca/page/hiring-mover
- May 17, 2021 - BBB Press Release: Relocating from West to East? Beware of moving scams. In 2020, an unprecedented number of moving scams surfaced. The COVID-19 pandemic brought many challenges as movers couldn’t go into homes to verify shipment sizes - and scammers have used this to their advantage. Fraudulent moving companies have been identified and are purposely underestimating moving quotes for consumers who were inquiring online or by phone. These scams are particularly prevalent in cross-provincial moves from Ontario to the Atlantic Provinces. Read more below.
- May 14, 2021 - Calgary Real Estate News: Moving month: how to choose a mover and avoid common scams. Liam McQuillan, general manager of BBB-accredited Highland Moving and Storage in Calgary, says it’s been an unusual year for the industry. He warns that “anybody with a truck” can post an ad on Kijiji and give a cheap moving estimate without even seeing your goods. That often means damaged or missing goods and zero accountability from the “mover,” or seeing an $800 quoted price balloon to $2,400 before delivery.
- May 12, 2021 - DiscoverAirdrie.com: Don't be left in the dark while finding a reliable mover. May is Moving Month and the Better Business Bureau wants to make sure you're not left in the dark when it comes to finding a reputable mover. "We urge consumers to do their due diligence before hiring a mover," said president of the Canadian Association of Movers Nancy Irvine. "When trusting all of your belongings to someone, it’s worth doing the background work by researching your mover to avoid future heartache."
- May 9, 2021 - WHNT News19 posted National Moving Month: Hire A Professional Mover You Can Trust. The Better Business Bureau offers tips on preparing for a move, finding a trustworthy moving company, and avoiding scams.
- May 5, 2021 - Canadian Fraud News Inc. also posted the Tips for moving safely during the pandemic, originally issued by My Cowichan Valley Now (May 4, 2021). The Canadian Association of Movers (CAM) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) have begun a collaborative effort to ensure consumers know how to safely pack up and move during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Winnipeg Free Press: New scam creates nightmares. CAM is seeing increased reports of illegitimate moving companies with shady practices. On national moving month this May, they and the Better Business Bureau want to help consumers stay safe as we kick off the busiest moving season of the year. One common scam involves companies low-balling customers with a price, only to jack it up once the customer’s belongings are already loaded. (April 27, 2021)
- CBC News - Sudbury police investigating complaint about alleged scam involving movers. (March 8, 2021)
- The Sudbury Star: Sudbury police warn of moving company scams. "Whether you are moving across town or across province, choosing a mover should not be taken lightly, police said. Finding a trusted and reliable mover is even more important, however, during the current COVID-19 pandemic." (March 4, 2021)
- Listowel Banner: Fraudulent moving company rips woman off for $500, leaves her stranded in Listowel. This consumer got scammed for $500 by Triple Star Movers Inc. and had to sleep in her pickup truck while keeping an eye on all her belongings at the side of the road. (January 11, 2021)
- CBC Nova Scotia: These customers were promised shipping containers. Now they're out thousands of dollars. The two companies identified in the article are Box Containers LLC and BigMax Containers. (January 4, 2021)
- Global News: Alberta woman demands compensation for damages following lengthy and stressful move. An Airdrie, Alta., woman is demanding compensation for various items she said were damaged during a lengthy and stressful move earlier this month. (November 26, 2020)
- Ottawa Citizen - "After five weeks, Gatineau woman will finally get her belongings back" (Nov 27, 2020)
- Ottawa Citizen - "Consumers be careful - a few unreliable moving companies will pull the rug out from under you" (Nov 26, 2020)
- Ottawa Citizen: I feel like I am being held hostage (Nov 19, 2020)
- CBC Hamilton: Hamilton woman is in 'pure shock' after $3,600 moving bill. The Better Business Bureau say they have 'lots of concerns' about Moonstar Van Lines. "I can confirm that Moonstar, Move Me Again, and Greenway Moving are not Canadian Association of Movers members, and never will be, as they are the antithesis of what a Certified Professional Mover should be," says CAM president Nancy Irvine. (October 27, 2020)
- St. Croix Courier "Moving company holds possessions hostage of family during move from Quebec to St. Stephen" The moving company refused to deliver until they were paid thousands more than the quote. (August 12, 2020)
- Global News "Go through all the last minute documentation" Toronto couple warn" Toronto couple's possessions get held hostage as they get scammed with a bill that was 605% over the estimated contract. (August 7, 2020)
- WMAR-2 Baltimore - The first of 12 people charged in a nationwide moving scam in July of 2018 has pleaded guilty. The movers were accused of defrauding, extorting, and stealing from around 900 customers. Read more: Man pleads guilty to role in nationwide moving scam. (January 27, 2020)
- The CBC News (Nova Scotia) issued a story about Big Boys Movers/Halifax Movers (NOT Big Boy Movers in St. John's, NL) and how the Movers deliver only half of family's belongings — and dump the rest. Here's the radio segment. Consumers need to validate their movers before hiring them. (June 6, 2019).
- How to avoid fly-by-night moving companies. (April 30, 2019).
- CBS News posted a story about how Florida is cracking down on movers accused of defrauding consumers: Moving company accused of holding customers' belongings hostage. (January 28, 2019).
If you are still not convinced that you need to research your mover, then read more.