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FMCSA cracks down on fraudulent HHG moving companies, brokers

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FMCSA cracks down on fraudulent HHG moving companies, brokers
As the summer moving season heats up, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is launching the Protect Your Move initiative to help prevent fraudulent practices by household goods moving companies and brokers.

WASHINGTON — Scams perpetrated by interstate household goods (HHG) movers and brokers are the focus of a nationwide crackdown by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the agency announced May 20.

Operation Protect Your Move is an enforcement initiative created to address complaints about HHG moving companies and brokers that do not comply with federal safety and consumer protection regulations and statutes.

“Americans deserve a fair deal when they move into a new home — and we’re cracking down on moving companies that hold people’s possessions hostage,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “This initiative will build on last year’s progress holding scammers accountable.”

The FMCSA conducted a similar moving company-focused operation in the spring of 2023, followed by three HHG broker-focused operations in Nevada, New York/New Jersey and Florida later in the year. The 2023 operations uncovered more than 1,000 violations of FMCSA regulations.

In response, the FMCSA took enforcement actions where appropriate, issuing letters of probable violation or by revoking companies’ operating authority. In addition, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a civil penalty enforcement case based on the result of the 2023 operation. That case is pending in federal court in California.

This year’s operation will target movers and brokers across the country with the highest numbers of consumer complaints. According to an FMCSA statement, the agency will continue to refer criminal violations to DOJ for prosecution where appropriate.

“We take our consumer protection role seriously and aim to help educate and protect those who may be moving their household goods from one state to another,” said FMCSA Acting Deputy Administrator Sue Lawless. “We are committed to this work, and we are putting forth even more resources to make a greater impact, including increasing the number of HHG investigators on staff and establishing additional partnerships with state attorneys general offices.”

Educating the public

Ahead of the busy summer moving season, FMCSA is also launching the Protect Your Move education campaign to raise consumer awareness of HHG moving scams. Consumers are encouraged to research and plan before moving across state lines by using the FMCSA’s free online resources:

Anyone who has experienced moving fraud can file a complaint against a moving company or broker through the FMCSA’s National Consumer Complaint Database.

linda gardner bunch

Linda Garner-Bunch has been in publishing for more than 30 years. You name it, Linda has written about it. She has served as an editor for a group of national do-it-yourself publications and has coordinated the real estate section of Arkansas’ only statewide newspaper, in addition to working on a variety of niche publications ranging from bridal magazines to high-school sports previews and everything in between. She is also an experienced photographer and copy editor who enjoys telling the stories of the “Knights of the Highway,” as she calls our nation’s truck drivers.

Avatar for Linda Garner-Bunch
Linda Garner-Bunch has been in publishing for more than 30 years. You name it, Linda has written about it. She has served as an editor for a group of national do-it-yourself publications and has coordinated the real estate section of Arkansas’ only statewide newspaper, in addition to working on a variety of niche publications ranging from bridal magazines to high-school sports previews and everything in between. She is also an experienced photographer and copy editor who enjoys telling the stories of the “Knights of the Highway,” as she calls our nation’s truck drivers.
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