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Are you moving? BBB has a list of tips before the big day

Over the past year, the Better Business Bureau has received several reports of moving frauds on its tool BBB Scam Tracker.
movers Getty

Moving is one of the most stressful events in a person’s life.

If you add the current public health crisis, individuals and families can be left feeling stressed, uncertain and overwhelmed.

With this in mind, Better Business Bureaus (BBB) across Canada in partnership with the Canadian Association of Movers (CAM) are working together for Moving Month this May to educate consumers on how best to plan and execute their next move, while avoiding scams and making health and safety a top priority.

 “The spring and summer months are typically the busiest times for moving. The best advice we can offer is to book with a reputable company as soon as possible," says Simone Lis, President and CEO of BBB Serving Mainland BC, in a news release.

"Moving company bookings fill up at an impressive rate and we want to prevent consumers from turning to classified ads at the last minute, which increases the risk of running into scammers or inexperienced movers. We are proud to partner with the CAM to offer advice and tips on how to hire a reliable mover who will deliver your belongings under expected conditions.”

Nancy Irvine, President of CAM, says the key to a less stressful move is research.

“We urge consumers to do their due diligence before hiring a mover. When trusting your belongings to someone, it’s worth doing the background work to avoid heartache.” 

BBB and CAM also encourage consumers to be cautious to avoid moving scams.

Over the past year, it has received several reports of moving frauds on the tool BBB Scam Tracker.

Some consumers report paying movers three times more than what was originally agreed upon.

Others have been forced to pay hundreds, even thousands of dollars more in cash because of threats by dishonest movers not to deliver the goods and furniture to their new home or to unload the contents of the truck on the side of the road.

Some consumers have paid hundreds of dollars in deposits to secure their reservations, only to be left without a mover on moving day.

“Most consumers who have reported moving scams have unfortunately come in contact with them through online classified ads,” says Simone. 

To help those planning to relocate have a smooth experience, BBB and CAM have prepared the following tips:

  • Visit the moving company's business profile on and their current standing with the Canadian Association of Movers to find reputable movers. Both organizations provide reliable and relevant information on moving companies and contractors. The mover’s BBB Business Profile will include their company rating, complaint history, verified customer reviews, and other important information. Click here to find a credible mover near you
  • Be wary of fly-by-night movers. Movers show up in an unmarked rental truck rather than a clearly marked company-owned fleet truck and take off with your possessions. Only when you have arrived at your new residence do you discover that your things didn't make the journey with you. Most professional movers wear uniforms, undergo background checks and will provide an order number for tracking purposes.
  • Watch out for conniving contractors. These shady movers tend to strike in three ways:
    • They try to gain the trust of clients and persuade them into believing that there is no need for a written contract. However, if something goes wrong during the move, the contractor denies all responsibility, leaving you on the hook for costs and damages.
    • The contractor demands more money, claiming the higher price was verbally agreed to before moving.
    • The movers hold your property hostage. The move seems to be going smoothly until you arrive at your new home and the movers demand more money before releasing your things from storage.

For more information on moving tips and scams, visit BBB Moving Resources