A disabled veteran claims he was scammed out of thousands of dollars from a company hired to move him to New York.

The vet says Alliance Moving And Storage gave him a quote to move him from North Carolina to New York but when they arrived, they doubled the price. "This broker company is booking with carriers to rip off customers when they arrive, charging thousands more and holding personal belongings for ransom."

Calls were made to the company for answers, but the vet says most are being ignored. "They said they did not give a correct quote on space and now they refuse to answer my call and have blocked me. They got their money upfront so now they don't want to deal with me."

The upfront money the vet says he paid and not can't get back is $3,900. "This is straight-up criminal, a scam, and illegal practices. Action needs to be taken to protect the public and especially disabled veterans, myself included. They are taking advantage of the vulnerable population of people."

176 similar complaints have been made to the Better Business Bureau in the last three years, including from an active-duty soldier in the military. "I want others to be aware that the company will provide a quote to secure your business when the actual cost is a thousand more."

The Better Business Bureau warns of several moving scams and how to spot them. "The simplest is getting a quote and leaving a deposit, but the movers never show. Or the moving company quotes a price based on weight and then they inform you the weight is over and you own more, sometimes double."

There have even been reports of movers loading your belongings on a truck but never showing up at your new home. They either hold it for ransom to make you pay more or just drive off with it.

Tips to Spot a Moving Scam:

  • Watch out for signs of a fly-by-night company. Company websites that have no address and no information about a mover's registration or insurance is a red flag.
  • Be wary of unusual requests. If you're asked for a large down payment or full payment in advance, that may be a warning sign.
  • Get everything in writing. Check licensing with the authorities, confirm insurance coverage, and get a written contract. Carefully read the terms and conditions, as well as the limits of liability and any disclaimers.
  • Keep an inventory of your belongings. Make a detailed inventory of your property and number the boxes.
  • Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about anything you don’t understand. If the moving company can’t or won’t answer your questions, you might want to look for another mover.

It may be a pain to move everything yourself, but at least you know you won't be scammed and all your belongings will arrive safely at your new destination. At least all the things you didn't accidentally break in the move.

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