Anyone who has moved houses can attest as to how stressful a move can be. There’s always the chance of forgetting some valuable items, bills to settle, packing, unpacking, and getting used to your new neighbourhood. Being extorted by the moving company you hired to make your life easier certainly isn’t one of the stresses you’re expecting to handle when you make your move!
When Moving Goes Wrong
In a recent news article, Toronto police shared that some local movers in Toronto allegedly held unto the possessions of some customers and demanded nauseatingly high extortion fees before the victims can get their things back.
As of now, the police are aware that two families have been victimized and have initiated an investigation of a group of moving companies for fraud.
There are several ways by which the victims are being charged fraudulent fees. In one instance, a family that was moving to eastern Canada from Alberta was charged an increased cost by exaggerating the weight of their belongings.
A Nightmare Situation
The family was given a quote for $2,700 by a Scarborough company prior to moving. After they used the service of the said company, the fraudulent business demanded $14,000 from them before the delivery of their property. They were also threatened that all of their things will be destroyed if they fail to pay the exorbitant amount, police shared.
In an interview at the police headquarters, acting Insp. Ian Nichols alleged that the moving company (group) cited quotes (for their services) that they have no real intent of honouring. The companies then held the properties of their victims in storage and used them to put pressure on the families to pay the fraudulent fees
Nichols further shared that the moving companies proceeded to threaten the victims that their prized possessions will be destroyed if the extortion fees weren’t paid.
We can only speculate as to how the victims felt at the threat of their personal belongings being destroyed by a moving company they trusted to move their things safely.
The quotes for the moving fees were provided to the families online without the companies inspecting the properties to be moved as recommended business practice.
To date, the police have located and seized the two families’ properties. They’ve also uncovered that the fraudulent companies use multiple names and sister companies.
Furthermore, police have arrested one Burk Ozgan of Toronto, 30, on May 24. They charged him with two counts of possession of property obtained by crime, extortion, and two counts of fraud over $5,000.
People who’ve recently engaged in transactions with Ryder Moving Services, Green Moving Services, Capital Moving Services, or Landmark Van Lines are urged by Nichols to contact the police.
A mover can only charge up to 10% more of quoted moving price in Ontario provided there are valid reasons. It should be noted that a mover trying to renegotiate price by using property as leverage is illegal.
Have had a suspicious transaction with a moving company? Hire a private investigator to check if you have valid concerns that you can bring to the police. Contact us at Haywood Hunt so we can walk you through how our private investigation services can be of assistance to you.