An entire family has lost everything they own thanks to a shady moving firm that vanished with ten £0 worth of their personal items. After finding a removal company on Facebook, Becky Zink, 22, and her fiance Mark Higgins, 28, from Walsall, West Midlands, decided to hire them to move their belongings from their flat in Bilston near Wolverhampton, which is 8 miles away, to a flat above the pub that they manage in Walsall Wood.
However, after two removal men from the firm, identified as Lee Green, arrived at the family’s home on Friday, September 25 in a rental van to pick up their belongings. The Facebook page was taken down and the men have not been seen or heard from again. Among the items removed from the property were a fridge, freezer, washing machine, furniture and clothing, as well as all of the family’s photographs and Becky’s engagement ring.
The two males, who were described as kind and polite with black country accents, fled after they completed Loading the vehicle and took with them approximately £10,000 worth of stolen property. According to the family, who was distraught. However, what appeared to be professionalism in order to complete a task quickly turned out to be a hasty attempt to escape away.
The only thing the family has left is their beloved television, which they transported in their car in order to avoid it being destroyed. During the house relocation, the removal men were rushing in and out of the apartment, Becky recalled.
We simply thought that they were acting in a very professional manner. Once they drove away, we didn’t see them or hear from them again. The only thing that didn’t make the trip was the television, and that was only because we transported ourselves in the car since we were concerned about it getting destroyed, Becky explained. It seemed like everything we owned was crammed into that van. Everything happened in a matter of minutes, taking only about 45 minutes from beginning to end.
It was planned that they would meet up with my partner at the pub, but they never showed up. We’ve been left with virtually nothing, says the author Mum. Becky and her husband, Mark, who have a seven month old daughter named Aria, put all their savings into a local pub called the Horse and Jockey in the hopes of turning it into a success.
However, when Becky received a phone call from Mark, the pub’s manager, an hour after the removal workers had left, informing her that their belongings had not been found, the pair realized something was amiss. The men had advised me in advance to pack all of our possessions into boxes and name them.
Clearly, I didn’t realize it at the time, but they had taken the most precious goods first, which I didn’t realize until afterwards. I commented on how quickly they were finishing their work and one of them responded by saying, we have a lot of jobs on today. In my entire life I’ve never sobbed so hard as I did on Friday afternoon. I’m so heartbroken that they’ve taken my engagement ring as well as several of my baby’s toys. While the family had hoped to make a fresh start by taking over the management of the bar, they’ve had to rely on the generosity of strangers in order to get back on their feet.
We were at our new home on Friday night, but it wasn’t really a home, it was just four walls, Becky explained. In fact, we didn’t even have a blanket to sleep with. Some people have stepped forward recently to supply us with necessities, but we still don’t have everything we require. I have to prioritize my daughter’s well being and it’s critical that she receives the care she requires before Mark and I are able to provide for ourselves. It’s left us completely heartbroken.
We can replace the furniture, but we will not be able to replace our personal belongings. It’s been a difficult lesson for us to learn. All I wish is that others can be more cautious when putting their trust in persons they meet through social media because I would hate for this to happen to anyone else. The West Midlands Police Department acknowledged that they’re investigating the incident and categorized it as theft. Police are investigating a theft after a family from Bilston hired a man with a van to assist them to move house after seeing an Advertisement on a social networking site, said Gina Lysette, a spokesperson for the force.
A vehicle loaded with the family’s goods was delivered to Bilston on September 25 from Mount Pleasant in Birmingham. The mail never showed up at their new home in Walsall, says the woman. West Midlands police say they’re continuing their investigation into the theft and encourage anyone with information to contact them on 101. Even the husband considered divorcing his wife as a result of what transpired because he doesn’t know how to produce money for his family again after losing everything. A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money for the family and so far it’s received donations totaling £880 in support of the cause.
Considering that most individuals employ a mover a few times in their lives, selecting the correct mover may be a foreign concept to them, making them easy prey for Con artists and scammers. Every year, the Better Business Bureau receives an average of 130 complaints and bad reviews concerning movers. Typically, individuals begin their search for a mover on the Internet, where they’re more likely to come across advertisements from dishonest movers or rogue operators, as they’re known in the moving industry.
The bad actor will normally offer a free estimate over the phone or by email, followed by a lowball offer to seal the deal when you visit the website. It appears to be real with bogus testimonials from satisfied customers, and it claimed to have been in business for many years with highly trained workers.
Moving scammers may also use so called independent mover review sites to post fictitious favorable reviews of their services on the phone. The representatives of a fraudulent moving company appear to be nice and accommodating at first. When difficulties emerge later on, however, firm personnel are unable to be reached.
Following the receipt of a down payment ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars, the dishonest moving firm outsources the labor to an organization that frequently employs temporary and experienced workers to load the customers goods into the truck. As soon as the products are loaded onto the truck, the driver asserts that the real quantity of goods to be transported surpass the earlier estimate.
They demand more money, and in most cases, they are granted it. When the things finally arrive at the new residence, sometimes days or weeks after they were promised, the dishonest mover may demand further payment, effectively keeping the belongings hostage until the money is paid. If the additional money is not paid, the operators just drive away without unloading the goods or indicating where they intend to transport them. Furthermore, some victims have reported that they have been asked to pay additional storage fees for the objects that have been taken hostage. You should conduct thorough and extensive research if you are a consumer considering an interstate relocation to verify you are dealing with a legitimate moving company.
After all, you’re allowing someone you don’t know to drive away with nearly everything you own in your possession. While the vast majority of movers are concerned with their reputation and providing excellent customer service, not all of them are. Check out movers ahead of time with the Better Business Bureau and the professional moving associations in the United States or Canada.
Get three in person or virtual estimates based on weight rather than cubic feet, and choose full value replacement liability insurance to cover the entire cost of the project. Because of the severity of challenges connected with long distance interstate moving, this study concentrates mostly on long distance interstate movements rather than local ones.
There is an indepth look at the scope and nature of interstate moving fraud, as well as the differences between rogue operators and legitimate movers. There’s also advice on how to find a trustworthy mover and information on law enforcement efforts, as well as information on what to do if problems arise during the move. Recognizing the nature of the moving industry, interstate moving is a more complicated procedure than the majority of people are aware of or understand. Consumers may assume that a truck arrives with the same crew that would load and unload the truck at the new location. This is not always the case, however.
If there aren’t enough belongings to fill an entire moving van, the contents may travel through several hands before arriving at their final destination. It’s possible that long distance moves will begin with the team picking up the products and delivering them to a storage facility or depot.
When there are enough items traveling to the same place, belongings from numerous customers can be bundled together and transported in a single huge truck. The items may even be unloaded again at the destination where they’ll be Reloaded into smaller trucks for distribution after the lengthy journey. Interstate movers in the United States are required to be licensed by the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Because moving scammers in the United States may be able to obtain a license number, simply having a license does not imply that a mover is trustworthy. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration may revoke these licenses in Canada.
There is no known national licensing program of a similar nature, and the legal requirements applicable to movers there are governed by the laws of several provinces in which they operate. Individuals who are contemplating a move can find helpful information on the FMCSA website, including checklists when moving over state lines. Federal requirements demand that your mover provide you with two brochures.