Whether you're a college grad, changing jobs, or doing it just because -- the month of May means that many people are on the move.

But it also means, someone might be "moved" to take advantage of your Bottom Line.

According to the Better Business Bureau, last year it saw more than 8,900 complaints from people who claim they were the victim of moving scams by the hands of a dishonest or unlicensed moving company.

That's a 5% increase over the year before, and the percentage in Upstate New York is even higher at 15%.

So if you're planning to move sometime soon, how do you avoid a moving scam?

"Most of the complaints are having to do with property damage in the move, and they can't get any reimbursement for that," says Peggy Penders of the Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York. "Or they hike up the price, sometimes more than 100% versus what they were told in the first place."

When asked, "What are some of those red flags that if someone's going around getting estimates, would tip them off to moving company scams?"

Penders replied, "Ask 'is this is a company that potentially might be trouble?' Certainly if they haven't been in business for very long, this could be a concern. You want to get some references if that's the case, to make sure that they are legitimate."

Penders suggests asking for moving company references to avoid moving scams. She also suggests you try to get three separate estimates for peace of mind.

Shipping Sidekick offers fast, free moving quotes from pre-screened movers in your area which will greatly reduce the chance of a moving scam. Just fill out the short form at right to get the no obligation quotes emailed to you.

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