BELLEVUE, WA – Bellevue Police are warning of a scam targeting residents who search for moving services on Craigslist. The police department said the latest scam was reported in the Puget Sound area, with the culprits posing as a reputable moving company, with a business license, address and phone number.
However, once the ‘movers’ arrived and loaded the truck with valuables, police said they demanded victims pay a ransom to return the items, citing a price four to five times higher than the agreed cost. In one such case, Bellevue investigators said a victim refused to pay and the scammers walked away with personal effects estimated to be worth $40,000.
To avoid falling victim to a similar scam, police recommend that residents:
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- Hire a local business – avoid doing business solely on the internet
- Get at least three estimates – beware of unusually low offers or estimates given over the phone or on the internet without someone inspecting the work in person.
- Check credentials – confirm that the moving company is licensed by the Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC). UTC regulates residential moving companies performing moves in Washington State. A moving company operating in Washington must have a valid UTC permit.
- • Do your research – look at this article from Consumer Reports for more information on choosing a reliable moving company.
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