3 ON YOUR SIDE (3TV) - Summer is one of the busiest times of the year for moving companies, but you don't want to get scammed.
In fact, the Arizona Attorney General's Office just put out a press release warning consumer to watch out. It's a warning 3 On Your Side has brought you many times before.
When it comes to moving scams, 3 On Your Side has had a front-row seat for years exposing and explaining how they work. Megan Price knows about that first hand.
[READ MORE: Moving? Tips you need to know]
"I'm shocked. I've moved many times in my life, and I have never had a problem and for this to go on like it has, has just been shocking. I don't know how to describe it," Price said.
In a previous 3 On Your Side report, we confronted a moving company that threatened to hold Price's goods hostage unless she paid them more money.
But, after we got moving regulators with the Arizona Department of Public Safety on the scene, Price's goods were immediately unloaded at no additional cost and the moving company was temporarily shut down.
Louis Massaro says he's not surprised because he knows every moving scam out there.
"You need to do a little research. And it doesn't take much," Massaro said.
Massaro is a Valley author who's written a book and posted videos on moving scams.
If there's anyone who knows how dirty moving companies operate, it's Massaro, because he did it for years before getting busted.
"I ended up pleading guilty to charges, to federal charges on wire fraud and failure to give back household goods," Massaro said.
Massaro said since his convictions, he's now on a mission help consumers from getting scammed.
His first tip? He says simply look up the moving company on a search engine.
"You can tell a lot about a company by just putting their name in a Google search and looking what is on the first page," Massaro said.
Also, verify if you're dealing with "the" moving company or a moving broker. If you're using a broker, Massaro says watch out.
"If you're going to set your move up with a broker, it's important that you find out from the broker who is the actual moving company that is going to be moving my stuff. By law, they have to share that with you," Massaro said.
Always make sure your estimate is "binding." That means movers can't demand more money if the shipment or weight is more than what they thought.
Get a least three written "in-home" estimates and avoid movers that ask for a deposit.
If it's a local move, say across town, get a written quote as to how much moving company will charge an hour.
"The last thing you want to do is go based on price. There are a lot of companies out there that will give a very low price, but it is very true, you get what you pay for," Massaro said.
If you're moving soon, there's some information we want you to go over.
You can find the information at the following links: