Why Moving Companies May be a Threat to Your Privacy
As if there weren’t enough worries about identity theft in this era high-tech, password/encrypted technology, we have to remind ourselves that identity theft still happens because of the hard technology and documents you expose to the world.
Consider the case of William Pollock, a young man from Texas who was looking to find a solid moving company to help move his family to Pennsylvania.
Pollock shopped around for a few different movers, as most of us would do, and when he wasn’t happy with their price quotes, he turned to Craigslist. There he found Moo-Ving.com, a company with a professional enough web site and, what’s more attractive, a far lower price quote.
Caveat emptor. As it turned out, the company took Pollock’s $5,000 in upfront cash and started making demands, telling him that they wouldn’t move his belongings unless he paid their fees. Eventually the company stored his belongings in a secret location, essentially holding his private property hostage.
This kind of theft isn’t as cut and dry as “routine” identity theft. You know not to give out your credit card number unless the person taking it has a good reputation and the interaction is secure. But what about private dealings with companies that appear to have good web sites?
List of Red Flags
Let’s consider some of the red flags Pollock could have considered:
- He found the moving companies on Craigslist rather than through more traditional methods.
- He didn’t do a lot of research into the reputation of the company.
- He paid upfront in cash.
All of these elements, put together with a company like Moo-Ving.com, spelled disaster.
How to Protect Yourself
How can you avoid this type of mistake? Simple: work with reputatable businesses when you entrust your belongings to someone else, and make sure that you pay after a job is well done, not before.
If you’ve become a victim of a company like this, you can turn to MoveRescue – an organization funded by some of the larger moving companies that provides legal help and assistance to consumers stuck in this situation.