Pittsburgh moving scam – how to spot it?

The United States Department of Transportation states that there are over 40 million moves in the country every year. This is quite a staggering number! When you think about the struggle you are facing while planning for the move, this can seem like an ocean of panic in just one country. And this can often be true – there are many things you need to worry about when planning a move. You need to think of all the paperwork you have to do. You need not fall into a Pittsburgh moving scam! Maybe you still have to find a good place to live? Luckily for you, Movin’ Murdy – Pittsburgh Movers got you covered! In order for you to be on a lookout, we give you a list of the biggest moving scams you need to be aware of.

Avoid movers who only use the phone

A person with a phone - evade a Pittsburgh moving scam by having in-house estimate.
You need to see the person behind the phone.

One of the first things you can encounter when looking into Pittsburgh movers is a company that only uses a phone. These people don’t insist they come to your house for an estimate – they want to do it over a phone. Do not trust these moving companies. This is one of the classic signs of a Pittsburgh moving scam.

The reasons for this are simple. The estimator needs to come to your home and take a look at your stuff. Can you, right now, name everything you have in your home? Probably not. Then, you cannot give detailed information about your items. Even those movers often charge based on the mileage they travel, the weight of your items is also a factor, as well as how much room they take up in the truck. And you might have a simple queen size bed, or you might have an ornate, heavy wood frame one. As you can imagine, these two can vary quite a bit in their weight and how simple it is to pack it up.

Estimate the estimator to evade a Pittsburgh moving scam

A man with a magnifying glass and quality sign.
Take careful note of what the estimator does.

While we are on the topic of estimators, you can see a lot about the company’s professionalism based on the way they do their job. Does the estimator just stroll quickly through your home? Do they only glance at your things without taking any notes or opening cabinets? Think about the questions they ask you. The estimate they give you cannot be correct if they do the job that way.

There are so many people that every year have their stuff held hostage. The scammers will low-ball a quote, and they refuse to give the things back to their owners until they pay hundreds (even thousands!) of dollars over the estimate.

All reliable and affordable movers in Pittsburgh will have estimators who take care when doing their job. They will be thorough and ask to see everything – even your basement and attic. They will ask you about the food in your pantry, for example. Also, they might even ask whether or not your will be getting rid of things, and what are the items you are taking with you.

As far as your part goes, you need to give them as much information as you can. Talk to them about the items you will buy before the move so they can take note of that too. The more information the estimator has, the better the estimate he can give you. Also, you will want to get a written estimate – with your and estimator’s signature on the document.

Avoid giving away deposits

When it comes to paying your movers, the rules are simple. No reputable Pittsburgh moving company will ever ask you for any kind of cash deposit up front. Even if they are last minute movers in Pittsburgh, they will want you to pay after the delivery of your items. In the case of you paying before the move, then you have no control over the moving process. It will be easy for fraudulent movers to just steal your things and you will never see them again. Also, when paying, make sure you use a method that you can trace. We recommend paying by a credit card, where you can see and print out every transaction.

Check the company name to avoid the Pittsburgh moving scam

There are many scam-busting websites that you can find. One of the most popular is the Better Business Bureau. It offers a huge database of different moving companies that you can find using their U.S. DOT number (that you should take from the estimator). However, some scammers get around this by changing their names. This is why, when screening them, make sure you see all the names the company has, and how long they have been in business. They also need to have a physical address and they offer information about their license and insurance policies. Finally, pay attention to how they answer the phone. Do they use their full name or just “moving services” or similar generic titles?

A success - stress sign.
Evade stress by moving with Movin’ Murdy!

One way you can make sure is to ask for a couple of references. Ask for people from the Pittsburgh area, and those who moved within the last three months. They need to give you their phone number and be sure to phone these people. Ask them direct questions about their moving experience – nothing too general. Questions like “What is one thing you did not enjoy about the moving experience with the company?” are great, because they don’t give them much room to fake the review.


To conclude, if you are careful enough, you will easily avoid any Pittsburgh moving scam that you may come across. Luckily, you are already on the website of one of the top moving companies in Pittsburgh. This is why you should pick up your phone and call us. The sooner you arrange for the estimate, the sooner we can start the moving process. Finally, it will be less time for you spending stressing about your impending move, and more time enjoying Pittsburgh.

Latest Posts

Get Your Free Estimate!