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Oregon officials see rise in complaints about movers, offer tips on consumer protection

Greig Robinson
Movers put items into a truck.

Eugene Police are warning people about moving scams and fraud. A state official says that echoes a recent alert from Portland Police.

The complaints range from movers falsifying the weight of the goods, to holding onto them until the customer pays more money.

Ellen Klem is the Director of Outreach and Education with the Oregon Attorney General’s Office. She said action should first be taken with the moving company itself.

“If you have worked with a moving broker, you can start that process there, and then file a complaint,” said Klem. “If the move was purely within Oregon, you can do that through the Oregon Department of Transportation. If it was a move from one state to another, you’ll want to file that complaint with the federal government.”

United Van Lines
United Van Lines infographic for people moving in, or out of, Oregon last year (2021.)

Another scam has movers demanding more money to deliver the victim’s goods, often well past the promised delivery date. Customers are so desperate for their belongings, they often cave and pay with a cashiers check.

Local police can be of limited help if there’s a moving contract, or the move was out-of-state, creating cross-jurisdictional issues. Klem says resources – including 10 ways to avoid moving scams – can be found online at OregonConsumer.gov.

Oregon is one of the top states to move to – or out of – according to data from United Van Lines. Its report says 60 percent of people moved into the Beaver State, while 40 percent left last year.

Copyright @2022, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.