Moving scams and cybersecurity risks: how to avoid them?
The time of corporate moving can be exciting and very stressful at the same time. To make the process smoother, relocation companies are tasked with finding professionals who offer the service and provide a pleasant and positive experience.
Sometimes, with the pressure to lower costs in the relocation process, companies end up working with unknown companies that offer lower prices but end up being the bane of the process because the risk of being victims of scams or identity theft increases considerably.
The priority for mobility companies is to keep their employees safe during the time they are doing their reassignment procedures and to avoid as much as possible any scam or fraud situation that may happen.
If anyone thinks this doesn’t happen, we tell them it does, and here are the facts:
According to the Better Business Bureau, 2021 received more than 1100 complaints from users of moving services, among which they reported a “scam” loss of $730,000, 216% more compared to 2020.
Unfortunately, in several cases, the scammers asked for a deposit before giving the service, but never arrive or change the conditions and prices they initially delivered. A common practice that has gained traction is that some companies pick up items from a house and refuse to deliver them unless the service user pays them a higher amount than quoted.
In the first eight months of 2021 alone, there were 932 reports of this type of scam to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Scammers often target people looking to move as cheaply as possible and people who have no moving experience.
There is also a risk of identity theft
Identity thieves don’t miss opportunities, and when a person requests a moving estimate, a utility service, or a change of address and P.O. Box, they typically share some personal information and data that is susceptible to fraud.
Companies should have policies and tools in place to protect their employees’ data and employees should take precautions such as tracking mail and correspondence and changing data promptly to reduce risk.
Avoid risks, there are honest suppliers
Perhaps costs are rising with certain providers, but an important thing to evaluate is the quality, transparency, and security of the service.
The companies in charge of employee assignments must guarantee that employees are attended to by qualified professionals during the entire process involved in the move. In addition, the moving company must be insured and be clear at the time of quoting, so that they do not demand additional fees at the time of providing the service.
If an employee, a person, does not know what to look for in a moving company, he/she is more likely to be the victim of a scam, and no one wants to add an extra worry to the process.
If it is the employing company that is sponsoring the move, they should allow the employee to have contact with them before making the move to ensure that they are confident and that it suits their requirements, ultimately it will be their personal belongings that are being moved.
The following list is a small guide of recommendations published by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) that you can follow when contracting a service:
– Watch out for warning signs. If there is no address, registration, or insurance information on a mover’s website, it is a sign that the mover may not have adequate policies in place to protect consumers’ belongings. Also, if the mover uses a rented truck or offers a quote over the phone before conducting an on-site inspection, it may not be a legitimate business.
– Beware of an unusual request. If a mover asks for a large down payment or full payment upfront, that may be an indication of a fraudulent business. If a person’s possessions are being held hostage for additional payment that was not agreed to when the contract was signed, contact BBB or local law enforcement for help.
– Get everything in writing. When moving interstate, verify licensing with the U.S. Department of Transportation. An identification number issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is required of all interstate movers, which can be verified at ProtectYourMove.org. Be sure to carefully read the terms and conditions of the contract, as well as the limits of liability and any disclaimers. The pickup and expected delivery date should be easily identified.
– Keep an inventory of your belongings. Having an inventory sheet is one of the best ways to keep track of your possessions. BBB recommends that consumers who are moving label the boxes in which their belongings are packed and what is in each box. In general, movers are not responsible for lost or damaged contents in boxes packed by the customer unless there is demonstrable negligence on the part of the mover. Taking photos of the contents before packing is an excellent way to prove if damage occurred during the moving process.
– Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about anything you don’t understand. If the mover can’t or won’t answer your questions, find another company. Trust is important when hiring a mover.