How To Avoid Moving Scams
Check your removalist is AFRA-accredited
The highest quality removalists in Australia have accreditation by the Australian Furniture Removalist Association, so giving them a quick call will sort out whether or not the removalist in question is legitimate or not. Of course, there are many legitimate removalists in Australia who aren’t AFRA-accredited, so this one isn’t foolproof.
The Telephone Call
If a removalist and you only have a quick phone call before they give you an estimate, then they’re probably too good to be true. Moving quotes are based on far more than just the number of things you own: size and weight can be variables too, especially if you have solid wooden bed frames or a trunk that plays coffee table. A reputable removalist will make a time with you to come and visit the property and understand your moving needs.
Of course, scam artists might still visit your home, but they’re easier to spot once they arrive. An estimator who just walks through the house, without opening cabinets or taking proper notes, is probably not the kind of estimator you want organising your move. A good sign that someone is reputable is in the questions they ask. Look for questions about food in the pantry, plans for a garage sale and whether or not you plan to sell or acquire anything large in between the estimator’s visit and moving day.
If a removalist asks for a deposit up front, run for the hills. If you pay up front, you have zero control over when you’ll see your belongings again, so withhold all payments until the delivery has been completed and every single box is in your new home. You should also pay any bills via credit card, to ensure that you can fight any fraud that might pop up on your bill later down the track.
A business should be licensed. At the very least, that means an ABN and local address. You can also pick up on any suspicious activity on how they answer the phone. If they don’t state the full business name to you, before their own name, then you have the right to be concerned and should consider looking elsewhere.
You can’t always stop a scam from happening, as there are some very talented scam artists out there looking to prey on innocent people, but by taking some smart precautions you can be sure you’ve made the right decision and that your belongings will arrive in one piece at your new home.