The King County Sheriff’s Office has issued a warning for residents to beware of a regional “moving scams”:

SCAM ALERT: Police issue warning about regional 'moving scams' 1

Detectives with the King County Sheriff’s Office, and other local agencies, are investigating a troubling trend of local moving scams.

Our investigation began last month when a woman in Sammamish reported the moving company she hired in April, at a cost of nearly $2300, failed to deliver her belongings to her new home in Austin, TX. Gone are potentially $31,000 in household goods and priceless family memories.

Investigators are learning these crooks offer unsuspecting customers the appearance of a lower cost move. As movers begin to load their truck with your property they demand additional payment, always in the form of cash or a cashier’s check. Instead of delivering your goods, these suspects abandon your valuables in rented storage units then seek a new victim.

Our work is beginning to pay off. Property belonging to several victims has been found in storage units in Renton, Kenmore and Shoreline. This is a multi-state investigation that we expect will recover additional property.

You can protect yourself. Before hiring any moving company do an on-line search for customer feedback. Be suspicious of any firm that accepts only cash or a cashier’s check. Late-night pickup times and rented trucks without the company logo may be an indicator the firm you’ve hired is not reputable. Label all boxes with your name and address, so they can be identified if recovered in transit.

Lastly, make sure the moving company you hire is permitted by Washington’s Utilities and Transportation Commission by visiting this link:

https://www.utc.wa.gov/regulated-industries/transportation/regulated-transportation-industries/household-goods-carriers

Together we can make sure moving fraud finds no home in King County.