To protect yourself, before selecting a mover,
A) Research the movers you might call on MovingScam.com.
B) Research the AG Consumer protection complaints file in both the sending and receiving states -- CALL the AG's office in the destination state, AND the sending state.
C) Ignore the BBB -- the "Better Business Bureau" is a bought-and-paid for marketing gimmick. In other words, they are not neutral or objective in any sense of the word.
D) Do a search for all court claims filed against the company. In every state.
E) Reject out of hand any bid that is significantly lower than the rest NO MATTER WHAT PLAUSIBLE-SOUNDING LIE THEY TELL YOU ABOUT WHY THEY CAN BE SO MUCH CHEAPER.
F) Do not, do not, DO NOT schedule your move to coincide with a deadline like a trip to Paris, brain surgery, childbirth, or a sale of a house so that you have no ability to send the movers away when you get a gut feeling that, yes, they are indeed criminals out to rip you off. Really, don't.
This is where they victimize people -- you set up the move, arrange a lot of stuff around it, and then on that morning, you realize that Trusty Truthful Terrific Movers is actually Satan, and there's still nothing you can do about it because you have a schedule to keep.
G) It bears repeating again. DO NOT put your own neck into the noose by hiring the cheapest mover you can find and shoehorning the move into your schedule so tightly that you can't say "You know what, put my stuff back and get the hell out of here." Remember. Once they have your stuff on the truck, if they are the bad guys . . . . And the industry is full of bad guys.
H) Of course, there are wonderful reputable movers too. The problem is that the bad guys know how to look like good guys, and it's only after you have locked yourself into a tight schedule and they have your stuff that you learn that they are the bad guys.
I) And, on the glorious morning of the move, if you have the slightest hesitation about the people you hired when they show up (or fail to show up) DO NOT LET THEM PICK UP YOUR STUFF --- unless you like the thought of being blackmailed for it. Far better to be sued by a mover for breach than to try to sue a mover in the state you just left. You have to go to federal court and the deadlines are absurdly short, and these people are professionals at the hold-up game. Do not play their game.