CMPD: Fake moving companies scamming families out of cash, belongings

CHARLOTTE — Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are warning homeowners about a scam involving fake moving companies, after at least three Charlotte families lost thousands of dollars in personal belongings when they thought they were hiring professional movers.

Detective Tod Taylor told Channel 9 crime reporter Mark Becker that they’re investigating at least three cases since last fall where movers collected deposits up front, loaded up furniture and household goods, then disappeared with thousands of dollars worth of items, including some that were irreplaceable.

In one case, police said the scammers cleaned out an entire household worth $75,000.

“These companies have legitimate-looking websites with phone numbers, customer service contacts, but once they get the money and the property is gone, there is no contact. Nobody will answer their phones,” Taylor said.

According to police, cases such as these are happening across the country, and often involve the crossing of state lines, so CMPD is working with its federal partners to investigate.

“It’s very frustrating. One of the individuals had to go through and buy a bunch more clothing for his whole family,” Taylor said.

Police have released photos of three persons of interest in these cases (see below).

Anyone who recognizes any of the people is asked to call 911. Tips can be shared anonymously with Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or charlottecrimestoppers.com.

CMPD recommends using a local company that someone you trust has recommended. Once a company has been identified, do some background work before hiring them. They also recommend checking with the North Carolina’s Utility Commission and Better Business Bureau.

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