Avoiding Moving Scams: How to Identify Reliable Removalists in Sydney

In this guide, leading Sydney removalists ZOOM Removals provide expert tips that customers can use to protect themselves against poor quality or fraudulent moving companies.


Moving is traditionally a stressful time for individuals, families and even businesses.

Unfortunately, like in many other industries, the moving industry is not immune to fraudulent schemes and scammers. For this reason, if you are planning on hiring professional assistance when relocating in Sydney, then choosing the right removalist is crucial.

Did you know that according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, an estimated 2.5% of Australians were exposed to a scam in the 2022-2023 financial year?

Key Takeaways

Why Is It Important To Do Your Due Diligence On Moving Companies?

Being caught unaware by poor quality or dishonest companies can increase stress levels and even become a financial burden if you’re not careful. To avoid negative consequences, being well-informed and highly vigilant is key when shopping around for a removalist company.


Reasons for being careful include:

Types Of Moving Scams

Be on the lookout for scams and red flags when employing a removalist company. These can come in many forms, but some of the most common ones include:

Tips To Booking With A Reliable Removal Company

With many factors to consider and decide on before booking, here are some top tips to help you with your decision-making.

Tip 1: Research the Company’s Background Thoroughly

ResearchThe first step to dodging scammers or dishonest companies is through careful research. Shortlist a few moving companies you want to consider and then scrutinise their history and reputation. While doing so, be extra mindful of two things:

When doing research, try to give yourself plenty of time (we recommend at least 2-3 months before your move) to find a suitable company for your relocation needs in Sydney. Finally, remember that a reputable removalist company should be easy to spot online by using all of the tips above.

Tip 2: Check Additional Company Licenses

CredentialsWhen looking for a reputable company, it is also a good idea to check whether they are fully licensed and insured.

This step is often overlooked by people, but it is another crucial way to protect yourself against scammers. License numbers are usually displayed on a company’s website. Alternatively, you can also verify their information by asking the company directly for their license number. If the company is legitimate, they should be able to provide this information upon request.

Secondly, you can also perform an ABN lookup (Australian Business Number) to see if they are registered.

For more helpful information, visit the NSW Fair Trading website.

Tip 3: Spot Estimates That Stand Out Or Look Strange

Price EstimateOnce you have gathered a few quotes from companies, you will start to notice a general pattern in prices, as they will often compete at a similar price.

If you come across a quote from a removalist company that is considerably lower, be extra cautious as this could be a scam especially if you only receive the quote over the phone and not in writing.

Remember, while it can be tempting to book with the cheapest option, lower prices can lead to misconceptions.

Tip 4: Read Contracts Carefully

ContractBefore signing anything, it is crucial that you fully understand the agreement and all the terms and conditions in your contract. While reviewing it, look for additional hidden fees they may try to sneak in such as inflated prices on packing materials or travel time charges for moving services.

Other details to check for include exact delivery dates of belongings, payment methods (and whether they incur additional charges) as well as cancellation policies.

Above all else, if anything looks unclear or vague, always ask the mover for additional clarification or amendments to the contract.

Tip 5: Ask For References

ReferencesAside from doing a background check online, you can also request additional references from previous customers.

By reaching out to past customers about their experiences, you can better judge a moving company’s professionalism, timeliness and overall customer satisfaction.

Tip 6: Think Twice Before Using A Removalist Company That Has Changed Its Name Multiple Times Over A Short Time-Period

ChangeWhile this may not be an immediate cause for concern, frequent name changes can be a sign of a red flag, especially if the company in question has changed their name many times in a short space of time.

This may mean that it has less to do with rebranding and more to do with avoiding being stuck with negative client reviews for their services. Worse still, they may have changed their name after past run-ins with previous customers.

It may also suggest that the company might be hiding something.

Tip 7: Ask About Moving Teams and Equipment

RemovalistProfessional moving companies always employ well-trained and experienced staff to coordinate moves. They will also use modern equipment and trucks.

To learn more about a removalist team, don’t be afraid to request more information on their experience, qualifications and the level of training they receive from the company if you are suspicious.

You can also ask for more details on the vehicles that are used to transport furniture. If vehicles are unmarked/unbranded, then this could be another red flag.

Step 8: Trust Your Instincts

BrainFinally, always trust your instincts when choosing a removalist to go with.

If something feels off, it’s okay to be cautious and reconsider your choices. Pay special attention to how companies communicate with you, their level of professionalism and their willingness to cooperate with you when you have concerns.

If they seem evasive or promises seem too good to be true or their staff are overly aggressive in sales tactics, it may be time to look elsewhere.

Your intuition can be a powerful tool in identifying potentially fraudulent movers.

What To Do If You Suspect A Scam?

Moving ScamsIf you are a victim of fraudulent activity, there are a few things you can do:


Moving is a big deal, as is entrusting the services of a company. Selecting the right removalist is therefore key step in ensuring a move without complications. By following the advice above, you can greatly reduce the risk of falling victim to moving scams.

Remember to take your time when conducting research by starting early when verifying credentials and always read contracts carefully.

Trusting your instincts and being well-informed about potential red flags can make all the difference.

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