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FMCSA Boosts Efforts to Crack Down on Moving Fraud

As peak moving season ramps up, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) continues its multi-prong approach to identifying and taking action against movers and brokers aiming to defraud consumers.

Earlier this year, FMCSA launched Operation: Protect Your Move in response to the significant uptick in complaints of movers holding household goods hostage and extorting exorbitant additional charges from consumers. As part of the agency’s three-week enforcement sweep to curtail household goods moving scams, dozens of highly trained agency personnel conducted more than 100 investigations across 16 states. This targeted work resulted in over 60 enforcement actions that may lead to the revocation of operating authority for some movers and brokers.

“FMCSA takes very seriously its responsibility to help protect consumers when moving their household goods across state lines,” said FMCSA Administrator Robin Hutcheson. “We’ve made great progress in identifying scam movers and brokers, but we can’t do this alone. We must work with partners across federal and state government to make the greatest impact.”

The agency established the Household Goods State Enforcement Partnership Program to maximize the impact of collective efforts. Through this program, participating state agencies have access to FMCSA enforcement databases, free training on federal regulations and laws, and will participate with FMCSA on joint investigations to support increased enforcement actions. Eleven state agencies have signed on, including the Attorneys General offices for Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, and Texas. Four additional state partners are expected by the end of summer.

Additionally, FMCSA formed an internal technical advisory group to help guide future efforts. The agency is improving training programs for investigators, hiring additional personnel, and expanding its consumer education and outreach footprint, including a digital toolkit with updated videos, checklists, and other useful information to help individuals prepare for an interstate move and spot red flags before it’s too late.

The FMCSA National Consumer Complaint Database remains available, and consumers may file complaints or research the history of movers and brokers registered with FMCSA.

To learn more about FMCSA’s efforts to stop household goods moving fraud and find helpful resources, see the agency’s updated consumer toolkit.