Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Moving company sting
NEW YORK - Thirty-seven million Americans will move homes this year.
Most will change residences in the summer, but what can go wrong when you don't check out your moving company?
We went on an undercover sting to find out. Movers showed up on this sting who had suspended driver's licenses, had arrests warrants - some even tried to flee when they found out they were about to get busted.
These are the folks you are paying and trusting with everything you own.
The undercover initiative targeting unlicensed and uninsured movers advertising on Craig's List and other websites netted a range of lawbreakers, scofflaws, and wanted men - all trusted with moving cherished belongings.
"In New Jersey alone last year we had 160 complaints filed against mover who where dishonest crooked, that held peoples belongings hostage. You know, jacking up the prices well beyond the estimated cost and then holding the person's belongings hostage until these outrageous billing demands are met," Tom Calcagni, New Jersey Director of Consumer Affairs, said.
Families moving have had their stuff lost, damaged or even stolen by fly-by-night operators who aren't licensed. New Jersey's Consumer Affairs division went to work to end the practice, doling out 25-hundred dollar fines to movers who showed up at a self-storage facility.
"A con-artist - all they need is a pick-up truck and a website and consumers need to be aware of who they're hiring.," Calcagni said.
Like one man who authorities have been trying to find for 5 years. He showed up in a van and left handcuffed in the back of a police car.