spot_img

As Florida’s population explodes, new law in effect to protect against moving scams

Date:

spot_img

(The Center Square) – As more people continue to relocate to Florida, the legislature took action to protect them and Floridians from moving scams.

Florida’s new law requires moving companies to register with the state, provide clear contracts and avoid misleading advertising. It also increases penalties for moving companies that refuse a lawful order to return private possessions to a client.

“In an effort to protect those moving to or within Florida,” the Florida Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Team is taking action against more than 18 movers and moving brokers that reportedly scammed consumers, Florida AG Ashley Moody said. Since she took office in January 2019, her office’s consumer protection investigations have led to approximately $27 million in fines and restitution from moving firms, her office says.

The new law amended Chapter 507 of the Florida Statutes by creating a series of consumer protections for household moving services. All moving companies and brokers are required to register with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, “ensuring proper vetting and authorization to operate.” All movers and brokers that conduct interstate moves are also required to be licensed with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

They are also required to provide “detailed and clear estimates and contracts to customers, outlining all potential costs, dates and terms” and moving brokers are prohibited from issuing contracts for services that include estimated moving costs, according to the law.

New guidelines were created related to advertising for moving services, including requiring that a company’s registration status be disclosed.

Violators face a third-degree felony charge and fine of up to $50,000 “if a mover or mover’s employee, agent or contractor refuses to comply with an order from a law enforcement officer to relinquish a shipper’s household goods in certain situations,” Moody’s office said.

The new law went into effect Monday as the Internal Revenue released its latest migration data revealing that Florida gained more new residents than any other state in 2022, The Center Square reported.

Moody also announced a new resource is available to educate the public about mover scams. Her office is also taking action against more than 18 moving companies and brokers for alleged consumer scams, she said.

“Moving is stressful, and deceitful movers can compound the stress involved with relocating,” Moody said. “Starting today in Florida, there is a new law in place to better protect consumers trying to relocate. To highlight these changes and equip Floridians with the tools they need to spot and avoid moving scams, we are updating our Scams at a Glance: On the Move resource.”

The AG’s “Scams at a Glance: On the Move” resource provides tips and guidelines to help consumers understand the law and avoid being taken advantage of. It’s available online for free in English and Spanish.

Consumers are encouraged to check a moving company’s licensing at FMCSA.DOT.gov/Protect-Your-Move and find out if intrastate movers and brokers are licensed with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services here: FDACS.gov/Consumer-Resources.

Consumers are also encouraged to report a moving scam to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services by filing a complaint online or calling 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352).

The resources are part of a large public awareness campaign launched by Moody’s office called “Scams at a Glance.” The consumer outreach program often publishes information about common and emerging scams to help protect consumers avoid falling victim to fraud and scams.

They can also learn of all recent consumer protection alerts here: MyFloridaLegal.com/Consumer Alert.

Read the Black Chronicle Black History Edition for Free! Click Below

Read the Black Chronicle Black History Edition for Free! Click Below

spot_img
spot_img

Subscribe

Share post:

Popular

More like this
Related

Details start to emerge about shooter at Trump rally as investigation continues

(The Center Square) – U.S. Secret Service agents killed...

Political leaders of both parties in Raleigh, Washington denounce violence

(The Center Square) – Violence doesn’t have a place...

9 House Democrats tried to block Secret Service protection for Trump if he goes to prison

Nine Democrats in the U.S. House sought to strip...