The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance's (TDCI) Division of Consumer Affairs warns residents to use caution when hiring movers through websites like Craigslist.
Last month, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported a Craigslist moving scam that left a Georgia resident robbed of $75,000 worth of her family's personal and household valuables. The victim hired the "two-man moving team" through the popular website Craigslist. The movers agreed to load up the family's belongings and follow them to the new location. Instead, the movers loaded the U-Haul vehicle, which was later discovered to be stolen, and drove off, stealing the vehicle's contents.
"Tennesseans have to be diligent to avoid falling victims to scams such as these," TDCI Deputy Commissioner Bill Giannini. "Always conduct thorough research and read reviews before hiring a moving company. When in doubt, reach out to the Division of Consumer Affairs or your local Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed on a company you are considering doing business with."
Consider these additional tips while shopping on Craigslist:
If you consider purchasing products or services through Craigslist, be sure to review the scam prevention tips offered at www.craigslist.org/about/scams.
Before hiring a business or professional through Craigslist, you may contact the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs at email@example.com or 800-342-8385 to ask if prior complaints have been reported against the company or individual. You may also visit www.bbb.org to check your local Better Business Bureau's reviews and ratings.
Use caution and discretion when hiring someone who is not affiliated with or employed by a credible business. Check customer ratings, ask for references and shop around before committing to a transaction. Avoid offering sensitive personal information while conducting business. Request the individual's contact information up front, and check to make sure the phone number works and the address is legitimate. Keep local law enforcement contact information handy, in case of an emergency.
To report a Craigslist moving scam, notify local law enforcement and refer to the instructions provided at www.craigslist.org/about/scams.
For more consumer tips or to file a consumer complaint, visit www.tn.gov/consumer.