When you’re moving from one place to another in Toronto, it may appear to be an easy thing to do. What can go wrong, right? Well, depending on your luck and whether you have done your homework, a fair amount can indeed go wrong. The process leading up to your move is a busy and hectic time. You will have lots to do and organize, making sure to take care of every little detail. Then comes the actual move. You could do it yourself and some people do, but the majority use a moving company. You need to be careful because not all moving companies are reputable. In fact some of them are scam artists, so here’s a simple guide to look out for some things in order to protect yourself.

1. Beware The Blank Contract

Some moving companies want to make as much money from you as they can while doing the least amount of work. They want to make this money as easily as possible. Whatever you do, do not sign a blank contract! They may come across as genuine and believable in order to gain your trust. They may say they are really busy and that they will fill in all the details later. Once you sign, this is a legally binding document. You’re finished! Only sign a contract that has been filled and contains things you have discussed and agreed upon and even then, make sure to review it. Remember, don’t be pressured into signing a blank contract.

2. Many Name Changes

Some movers (scammers) will change the name of their company regularly to beat the system of bad reviews. When they are reported, or if there are bad reviews about them, they just change their name and carry on. Make sure that they have a local address and that they are insured and licensed. When they answer their phone, a good, reputable company will use the full name of the company. They should also be open to giving you references, which you should follow up, just to be safe.

3. Deposit

It is quite rare that a moving company will ask you to pay a deposit. If they do, you should at least question it. If they are a big, reputable and experienced company that have been around for a number of years and perhaps even you have heard of them, then you might not have much to worry about. However, if they are not, then beware. No moving company will ask you to pay the full amount up front either. These people could actually take the payment and not show up. If there is a deposit that must be paid, it has to be a small amount at the very least and certainly not a large one.

4. Get Copies Of Documents

Make sure to get all documents. In fact, this is not something that should even be requested; they should give this to you. If they do not, you need to tread carefully. What you can do is to insist that you will make a copy yourself, or, you can take a photo of it. This way, you will know if anything has been altered by them.

Be careful to protect yourself from fraud. Only when you feel everything is as it should be, then sign the contract. If you notice certain red flags, tell them to take a hike!