Heads up on unscrupulous movers

More people move in June than in any other month. Consumer Reports says be wary. The Better Business Bureau got more than 8,000 moving-company complaints last year. But there are ways to avoid getting ripped off.

If a company insists on giving you an estimate over the phone or Internet instead of coming to your home, that’s a bad sign. And never sign a document that has a lot of blank spaces that haven’t been filled in. Another red flag? The movers are using unmarked trucks.

To find a legitimate mover with a good reputation, seek out recommendations from real-estate agents or friends who have actually used the company. Consumer Reports recommends getting estimates from at least three companies and making sure the companies are licensed.

There’s a helpful website, protectyourmove.gov, that lists all companies licensed for interstate moves and tells you whether there are any complaints. You can also check the ratings of the Better Business Bureau at bbb.org.

If there’s a problem, such as damaged or missing goods, notify the mover immediately. If you think you’ve been defrauded, contact your state attorney general or consumer protection department.

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