OKEECHOBEE COUNTY, Fla. — More people are moving to Florida than any other state, according to the latest Census data. But it turns out that many people fall victim to moving scams year after year.
A woman who just moved to the area shared her experience and advice so others don't fall victim.
After making the move from New York to Okeechobee County, Florida, Peggy Gordon is still unpacking boxes.
She rented a U-Haul because she said her moving company never showed up on moving day.
"I have been ghosted. You try and call them, customer service, and they say, 'No one's available to take your call at this time, so leave your name and number and someone will call you right back,' but nothing," Gordon said.
Peggy said she put down a $2,400 deposit with American Plus Moving and Storage.
"I went online and saw their ad on there and read some of the reviews," Gordon said.
Moving day was set for Jan. 15, but late that afternoon she claimed the excuses started coming.
"[The company claimed,] 'I can't pick you up. My truck is full,'" Gordon said.
The address online for American Plus Moving and Storage is 610 Clematis St. in West Palm Beach.
When WPTV went inside to investigate, we were told that it is a residential building and has no businesses.
"The moving scams are our top 10 scams year to year," said Cinthya Lavin of the Better Business Bureau.
She said American Plus Moving and Storage has a file with the BBB, which includes more than 4,000 inquiries in the last 12 months and 18 unresolved complaints.
Lavin advises anyone moving to do their research.
"Look at the company, look at the company's reviews. Also, go to BBB.org and see if that company has a rating, if we even have a file on that company," Lavin said.
She said American Plus Moving and Storage has an F rating.
Gordon is on a fixed income and is fighting for her deposit back.
"I just don't want anybody else to get scammed like that," Gordon said.
WPTV emailed American Plus Moving and Storage for Gordon and left several messages.
We finally got someone on the phone, but the person wouldn't answer any of our questions and said someone will call us back.
Below are some more tips to consider if you are contemplating a move:
1. Ask a lot of questions when you are getting a quote
- It's best to get at least three quotes, but the cheapest is not always the best option
- It's better to get a quote in person, or via video, so the quote is more accurate, and you're less likely to be hit with additional costs
2. Read all the reviews
Reach out and ask people you know which company they used. A good reputation means everything.
3. Check if the company is accredited with the BBB
If the company is accrediting with the BBB, the business is obligated to respond to complaints.