Sheriff’s office warns residents of moving broker scam
With movers in high demand, scammers take advantage of people who move great distances by using moving brokers, according to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
“The scam used involves someone contacting a broker to request a quote and contract moving services for their household items and personal belongings,” officials said.
The broker will collect partial payment for the services, up to 30 percent of the listed moving costs, and then send a subcontracted or independent “mover” to collect up to 50 percent of the remaining balance due for the move.
When the mover has received funds, which are usually only accepted in cash or internet payment like Venmo, the mover will take the property that should be moved and delivered to a new residence and load it onto a moving truck. The mover will never deliver the goods to be moved as promised. Instead, the mover deposits the property in a storage unit and abandons it for auction by the storage company when payment for the storage unit is not made.
“The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office strongly encourages all members of the public to exercise caution when using a brokerage or moving company to facilitate movement from place to place, especially on great distances between states, ”investigators said.
Other tips include:
• Read and keep copies of all contracts and receipts.
• Fully understand the services for which you are contracting.
• Identify all people, if possible, taking photographs of valid identification, of people taking possession of your property for the purpose of moving it.
• Require a detailed itinerary for the travel itinerary for your property and a specific delivery date for when your goods will arrive.
• Exercise due diligence by researching the history and background of the moving broker and movers you engage with to move your belongings.
• Always be very careful any time someone insists on being paid in cash.
“If you are unintentionally exploited by this emerging scam, your assets might never be recovered and the money taken by the moving broker and mover may also never be recovered,” officials said.
For more information, contact investigator Steve Schultz or Leland Love at 775-782-9905 and refer to the moving scam.