Shaking up unlicensed movers

July 5, 2011 8:46:02 PM PDT
The state of New Jersey is conducting sting operations to crack down on unlicensed movers and officials invited Action News along for the ride.

Even if you don't live in the Garden State, pay attention as these lessons apply to just about everyone in our area.

We were there for an undercover sting set up by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs.

Investigators posed as consumers and contacted 25 unlicensed movers. 17 responded.

Now, the first mover caught by our Action Cam was not only unlicensed, but his passenger had a warrant out for his arrest.

"It was through the Immigration and Customs Enforcement," New Jersey State Police Trooper Michael Miller said.

The driver admitted he had the licensing paperwork, but never filed it.

The second movers arrived in a truck owned by the electronics company P.C. Richard and Son.

The men are licensed to deliver for the company, however, the company did not authorize this particular pickup.

The driver told state police he was doing this as a side job.

Police say the third mover was also unlicensed.

All these movers advertise their services on Craigslist or other websites.

"In this time, when con-artists, all they need is a pickup truck and a website to claim that they are movers. It's more important than ever that consumers know who it is that they are hiring and inviting into their home and they know their rights," Tom Calcagni of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs said.

The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs is charging all 25 unlicensed movers it contacted.

They say you need to hire a licensed mover. The license indicates the state recognizes the mover as a legitimate business, the company's employees have had background checks, and the company has insurance.

Plus, complaints about the mover are registered with the state for public knowledge.

The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs says you should get a written estimate and a written contract.

You have 90 days from the date of delivery to submit a claim if any of your property is damaged or lost.

Unlicensed movers face a $2,500 fine. If they comply within 30 days, the fine gets cut in half.

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