This particular scam is basic, but effective. A moving company provides a customer with an estimate for a move, arrives and loads the goods, and then ups the delivery price to a much higher amount than previously quoted. The customer has no choice but to pay the price to get his or her personal effects.
This practice of hijacking customer’s goods came about as part of the fallout when the moving industry in the U.S. was deregulated in 1980. Deregulation let interstate movers provide fixed estimates. This prompted a rush of new moving companies and competition got fierce. Ultimately, the competition grew over the price, not a company’s service, and the lower the prices became, the more innovative scammers got to get more money. Hijacking personal property is the latest scheme.
Clients call a mover to come provide an estimate. Many times this happens online. The quote is provided, but it is often lower than it should be. The movers get to the home, pack and load goods, at which point, they then casually mention the delivery charges are much higher than the client was first quoted. This is often accomplished by fudging weight measurements, and billing the “extra” weight to the client. Often, the new price is four to five times higher than originally quoted.