Throughout 2020, San Francisco residents packing up and leaving the state is one of the year’s hottest controversies. However, many unlicensed moving companies have scammed thousands of San Francisco locals who planned to leave the nation to settle elsewhere.

According to Zillow’s August report, it confirmed that the main reason people are leaving the state is due to S.F.’s costly daily living, especially when it comes to paying bills and renting housing accommodations. With the COVID-19 pandemic swarming all over the place earlier this year, the loss of jobs and lower salary offers made it more difficult for many people to stay in San Francisco any longer. To alleviate themselves from such problems, many of the state’s residents ultimately decided to live somewhere else that could provide more jobs and cheaper costs of living.

Additionally, there are several things to note on why people want to leave the land and never look back. One of them is the summer wildfires, destroying and ravaging properties worth millions of dollars and taking away innocent lives from the fire incidents.

Due to this current phenomenon, the moving business industry skyrocketed amidst the pandemic outbreak. Together with the industry’s booming success marks the entrance of opportunists and scammers.

According to a recent report from The Guardian, there are multiple problems currently infesting California’s industry. Several of these issues include uninsured movers taking advantage of innocent migrants, overpriced products, and stealing goods. 

For someone to operate a California transportation company, the state requires a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration license from a corporation’s business owner. One can obtain the certification by filling out an application form, passing a written test, participating in a background check, and paying a $500 processing payment.

Unlicensed movers, however, are most often found on Craigslist. There, they mostly offer low-balling prices to lure customers in looking for cheaper moving fees to help transport their belongings. Moreover, these scammers often leave their clients with damaged, lost, and stolen possessions. Consumers cannot sue these people due to the lack of liability insurances and movers’ licenses. Aside from Craigslists, these illegal movers also lurk in other classified sites where many people seek a moving company to aid them in transporting their stuff from one municipality to another.

Additionally, multiple customers reportedly recounted their experiences with their belongings being held hostage by rogue dealers.

According to the Washington Post, they disclosed multiple reports of fraudsters targeting people moving across the state to adhere to their so-called “company problems and policies.” What these scammers do is demand extra payment beforehand, take the loaded belongings in an unmarked truck, and call customers to demand more fees for the return of their stuff.

Moreover, according to the Better Business Bureau’s latest report, nine out of 33 escapees currently wanted moving scams to reside within the San Jose area. According to the transcript, to dodge the law regulations, fraudsters often alter their business names, personal information, and addresses.

Californians still experience the rare availability of rental trucks and expensive moving rates offered by the legitimate part of California’s transportation industry. America’s largest rental truck retailer, U-Haul, offers its rates based on locations’ imbalances and demands. On Tuesday, a fast check on their online prices list reveals costly moving fees depending on the truck a client plans to rent for moving. For instance, it will cost you over $257 to borrow a 10-foot moving truck for a moving trip from Boise to San Francisco. If you plan to make a reversal trip, however, the company will charge you a fee six times over the base price, amounting to a total of $1,603.