The origin of the word “Scam” and How to avoid a Moving Scam

The origins of the words scam go back into antiquity, through many derivations. The modern form of the word is first noted in a 1963 entry in an American slang dictionary. It is considered a “carnival term of unknown origin. Perhaps it’s related to 19th century. British slang scamp “cheater, swindler” This is the most plausible explanation of the word and provides a clue for further research.

In a dictionary published in 1837, the word scamp is defined as “do in a hasty manor.” From this reference, it is traced back to a Scandinavian source. The origin n Old Norse, from which the word may have derived is the word “skemma” to shorten. And “skemma” is believed to derive from skammr “short.” Thus far, imagistic ally, we can see a definite relation to the word scam. A scam artist, for example, might “short” his customer by not providing him with the full value of the service requested. He might do this by providing service in a hasty manor.

In this line of thought, the origin of the word seems to be the Old Norse word skamt, a form of skammer which dervies from the Proto German skamma related to the old OE scamm, all meaning “short.” The word scant, itself is said to have derived back in 1350 from the Old Norse word skamt, a form of skammr, which derives from the P Germanic skamma. So directly or indirectly, it appears that scam derives from the Germanic skamma, and the OE scamm,

Interestingly, all of these terms are related to the old Germanic word. skemmen “to shorten” . Since taking off the top of something will shorten it, the word skemmen is sometimes taken to mean “hornless,” and one must wonder if there is a connection to the word” skim,” since the skimming process takes the top off of a food product. In any case, one might tie the meanings together, when one considers again, that a scam artist, “shorts,” a person.

Yet another possible derivation of the word scam goes through the word scamper, which means to run away. Scamper is related to the “Flem. schampeeren, frequentative of schampen “run away,” from O.N.Fr. escamper (O.Fr. eschamper) “to run away, flee,” from V.L. *excampare “decamp,” lit. “leave the field,” from L. ex campo, from ex “out of” + campo, ablative of campus “field” Both scamp, a likely derivative of scam, and scamper, connote haste. While it might be the result of coincidence more than intent, it’s worth noting that people who do scams, such as people who do moving scams frequently scamper away to avoid being caught.

Should the word scam derive from the word scamper, it is interesting to note that the Latin word campuse is related to the Proto Indo European word kampos a “corner” or “cove” from the base word kamp – “to bend”

It would be interesting to know if there is a Semitic derivation for the word scam. The common origins of Semetic languages and Indo-European languages go back 60,000 years, so it is impossible to know for sure, however, it is tempting to suggest that the word Kpoph, meaning “to bend” is distantly related to kamp “to bend,” since both words have the K and P sounds.

This report was sponsored by Packing Service Inc. Packing Service Inc. is a national chain dedicated to providing excellent packing and loading services in most of the 48 states. Packing service offer a flat fee estimate and are dedicated to protecting consumers from moving scam, and takes time to educate their customers regarding the best way to transport their prized possessions form one location to another.

Should you use a moving broker on your next moving experience!

Moving scams are so captivating because they provide modern examples of some of the most shocking neglect and abuse of binding contracts you can find. The scam usually begins with a low ball moving estimate, given by an online broker (a company that will book your job and sell it to another company). On moving day, after the subcontracted moving company has the goods loaded on the truck, the driver names an exorbitant price, usually two or three times the original moving cost estimate, and then informs the customer he will not release the belongings unless he is paid in full. You can see an example of what I am describing illustrated in the following excerpts of a story found on a prominent anti-moving scam website.

I booked this move through a broker and paid a $902 deposit on a quote of $3636.00 (by phone). A mistake, I know….Once our things were on the truck, the foreman told me that if I didn’t give him $400, what he called a ‘good tip’, he would price the move at $9600 and if I paid him the “tip”, he would price it at $7500. When I told him I didn’t have half of $9600 up front, he told me my household goods could be auctioned off to fulfill the contract. I paid the extortion in $160 cash and $240 check (which I stopped payment on once I had a binding price). It is my position that once they tried to extort money from us and threatened our property, all contracts signed after that point was signed under duress.” The movers wanted $3750 up front plus $225 for using my credit card. I was supposed to have $3750 in cash only upon delivery. I asked the foreman about my $902 deposit and he said, “the company gets that.”

Not the mere size of the extortion, but the arrogance with which it is carried out, is practically without precedent in the modern business world. The price being suddenly jacked up from $3636.00 to $8627.00, and the threat to hold the belongings hostage or sell them, almost staggers the imagination. Until one looks behind the scenes and discovers that the movers have the force of a legal technicality behind them, which emboldens their actions.

Movers who have received a subcontracted move are not bound by the “binding estimate,” of the moving broker unless they signed an agreement ahead of time to abide by the estimate. But the truth is that many of these moving companies never sign such estimates, and therefore, can make up any price they want on the day of the move. They wait till they have the goods in their truck, and then name the price.

If logically examine the relationship between movers and brokers, you will see why it is likely that movers rarely enter into these written agreements with brokers. And if they do, they find ways to circumvent them. Moving brokers frequently give “low ball estimates,” and after taking their cut, have trouble finding a mover who will make the move for the small amount of cash left over. In order to get the goods to the destination, they are frequently forced to subcontract the move to small peripheral moving companies who never entered into a written agreement with the broker. At the time of the estimate, they were unaware of the move, and they couldn’t afford to make the move for that price.

Bottom line, brokers rely on the movers to make a living. They have to be good to them. Even if they make some type of written agreement, they can fill it with technicalities which give the mover free reign to name his prices. And since the consumer never sees this document, he is totally in the dark about what can occur.

Even moving experts are fooled by this technicality. For example, in this case, one moving scam expert signed into the forum discussion, confidently quoted regulation 375.409 of the moving code which requires a written agreement to be in place before a broker makes the binding estimate. But brokers can easily find ways around this requirement. For example, a broker may have a written agreement with one moving company. He makes the binding agreement with that company in mind. Only that company always cancels at the last minute. Then he has to find a new moving company, which had no written agreement to abide by the estimate.

This report was brought to you by Packing Service, Inc. Packing Service Inc is a national packing service company dedicated to protecting the consumer from Moving scams and offers a Flat Fee Estimate.

How To Call a Bluff on Moving Company Scam

Moving Scams, How To Bluff A Moving Scam Artist

If in spite of all the warnings, and all the advice that appears on the Internet today now more than ever you can be scammed by a moving company. They will give you a low moving cost estimate and raised your moving price, which will then give them control of your belongings. Discover a little known secrete from the card game poker. This known secrete might help you get through the situation and minimize your loses. If you’re not familiar with how the betting in poker works, let me fill you in on the details.

In poker, each player puts in a certain initial sum into the pot, to gain the right to play in the game. As the hand progresses, each person has the opportunity to draw new cards. In some poker games, the players are required to exhibit some of their cards, in other types, no. But in either case, each player is looks at the facial expressions of the other players; he notes how many cards they drew and how many cards they kept. At certain crucial times, after the deal, and after the draw, players bet. If one player bets, and another player doesn’t want to put up an equal sum, he is forced to drop out of the hand, or fold.

So when playing poker, you have to know when your hand is likely to lose, and when it is therefore best to drop out of the betting, and forfeit the money you already bet. On the other hand, another strategy you can use is to try and force the other players out by raising the bets Even if your own hand isn’t that good, the players don’t know. They might think your cards can beat theirs, and so, afraid to lose more money, they will fold. When a player employs this strategy, with a poor hand, it is called bluffing. Or, another strategy, even if you have a bad hand, is to raise the bets, as if you have a great hand, and thus scare the other players. If you scare all the players, and they drop out, then you win the pot.

In the following story, a man signed with an online moving broker who passed his move off to a subcontractor. Once his goods were loaded on the truck, the company raised the moving price $1,400 above the original agreement. It was a cross country move, and the truck finally arrived three weeks late. As is usual with moving company scams, they demanded payment before they would allow him to see his belongings. But this victim would have none of that. He refused to pay the trumped up charges, and told the manager J. that if they “drive off with my belongings, I…(will), charge them with Grand Theft Auto and call the police.” This convinced the driver to stay and the debate in sued.

Finally after two hours of the stand of, the man decided to compromise. Mostly because of concern for his wife and kids, he “decided to pay them their demanded price, only upon the condition that they let me see my belongings first to ensure they were there and undamaged. This was a smart demand on the man’s part, because many times, scam moving companies deliver goods that have been seriously damaged, or goods that are missing many items. But at first, the company balked. This only ticked off the man more, and he responded with an effective bluff, as follows: “if you don’t,(let me look into the truck), you can take my belongings with you and I will replace everything, take you to court, and attempt to collect the $25,000.00 from you in a law suit. And based on your track record I’m pretty confident I’ll win. Do you want to go that route Joan? Cause I’m done f-n’ with ya!”

All the while that he was threatening the movers, he secretly admitted that with the changes in the contract, the police would not have recognized how they cheated him, and wouldn’t be able to do anything. But his bluff worked. A short time later, J. called back to say he could view his property on the truck. He inspected the truck, found that his goods were mostly there, paid the extra cash, and got his belongings. As one member of the online anti-scam web site noted, he did the right thing to pay the extra cash. If the company had driven off with his stuff, he would have had to lay out extra money for storage, and delivery time, and the price he was scammed could easily have doubled or even tripled. So in the end, this man knew when to bluff, and he knew when to fold, and he was thereby able to cut his losses, and retrieve his belongings.

Don’t let this happen to you, let Packing Service Inc. Help you with our Flat Fee Guaranteed Estimate. Our motto at Packing Service Inc. is to help you avoid moving company scams.

This article was sponsored by Packing Service Inc. which is a national packing company chain dedicated to protecting consumers from moving scams and always get flat fees guaranteed estimates. Call now for a Flat Fee Guaranteed Estimate 888-722-5774

Making sure a moving company weights your goods fairly.

Moving Scams, Making Sure the Moving Company Weighs Your Goods Honestly During Your Move.

If you find yourself in a telephone conversation with a moving broker, and he won’t agree to give you a weight based move cost estimate, this is a red flag that he is working for a scam company. To assist the consumer, let me provide a sample of a conversation between an anti-moving scams activist on the sly, and a moving broker. I learned about this conversation from an anti-moving scam forum. What follows is an account of the conversation:

“The guy was unclear about how they would be charging me on an estimate. First he tried giving me an estimate by cubic feet. When I contested the method he said that they could work by weight if I wanted to. So I asked him then what the story was; if they charged by cube or weight? His answer was very wishy washy and unclear. He was trying to dance around the answer, which to me is the first sign something is wrong. He then kept trying to push me to work by cubic feet, which is another red flag of a scam.”

On the phone the employee probably tried to sound polite, helpful, and gently persuasive. “It’s really much easier to work in cubic feet,” etc. He also probably offered to make the estimate binding if the consumer would do the estimate in cubic feet. In truth, he’s been trained to use this tactic and he has a very serious purpose in mind.

Moving brokers and online movers like to get the moving cost estimate in cubic feet, because it makes it much easier for the company to raise the cost of the move later on. Whatever the online cubic foot estimate amounts to, it is easy to increase on moving day through “balloon packing,” and “loose loading.”

Balloon packing involves stuffing boxes with light material which adds volume but little weight. On moving day, savvy scam movers, will refuse to insure boxes packed by the homeowner unless the company is allowed to repack the items. The company will repack the items loosely, often adding lots of bubble wrap or other packing material to fill the volume.

Furthermore, although you would never guess by the style of the conversation, the offer to give a binding estimate if the consumer will agree to a cubic weight estimate is obligatory. Consumer regulations require moving companies that are giving non-binding estimates, to make the estimate in weight. While weight estimates can be trammeled with as well, they are harder to inflate than cubic foot estimates. On moving day the company will raise the price and the consumer will remind them of the binding agreement. The company will report that there were additional items being moved, as attested to by the increased cubic foot, and that annuls the original binding agreement!

To really protect yourself on a move, hire an independent packing company to pack and load your belongings. Packing companies charge by the item packed and offer a Flat Fee Guaranteed Estimate. They make no extra money if the items are packed loosely. Packing Service Inc. is a trusty packing service that is dedicated to protecting consumers from moving scam.

Beware of Moving Scams in your local area.

What is a local move?
A local move is a move that takes you within a 100-mile radius and stays within the same state. Few factors determine the cost of a local move. A local move may take a couple of hours or a couple of days, based on the size and the services requested.
Packing Service Inc. will perform your loading within your requested time frame. PSI are fully aware of the many factors involved in selecting a moving date, such as closing date, lease expiration, family matters, work schedule and restrictions of building managements. That is why we give great attention to our customer’s moving time requirements.

How does a local mover charge?
If you are moving locally, most relocation moving companies charge per hour depending on how many movers and trucks are involved. Moving by the hour is not a good idea as the movers will work slowly and there are no guarantees on what the cost will be.
Packing Service Inc. charge by a flat fee guaranteed for moving, based on the size of your job and in most cases we will come out to give you a flat fee for your move before your big day arrives.

How moving scams apply on a local move?
You can get charged for extra travel time from and to the office, the movers can work slowly and use unnecessary packing supplies that the mover will only tell you about when your items are locked in the truck. You can get an estimate over the phone or over the internet that will be low-balled as to how many hours it will take the movers to complete your job.

How can I avoid the moving company scams?
Write down the names of the companies you are thinking of using and find out more about the history of the company by going to or Get an in home estimate before your moving date with a flat price for your move including all fees and expenses (don’t move by the hours) and of course ask a lot of questions, if the mover looks or acts unprofessional and you have a doubt about the company just move on as there are a ton of companies out there, PSI is the ONLY PACKING COMPANY that provide information about moving company scams

What are the best ways to move and avoid the moving company scams?
Let our packing company do the packing and loading services (and unloading services if needed) and get charged by a flat fee, this way you will know how much it will cost from the beginning with no extra charges and no surprises, we will need from you to get a rental truck or a Pods and we will do the rest.

What you should do if you must use a moving company?
The best way to move will be with a large company such as: Mayflower, Allied, North American. They are very professional and know what they are doing, but just because they have been in business for a long time, they are more expensive than a small company and the chances are that you cannot afford them, but even so always ask for a flat fee guaranteed estimate before and after they come to do the job. Our advice to avoid the moving scams is not to use a small company because they can close their business after a year and open another one with a new name. A lot of companies do that. This is an easy way for them to hide a bad reputation.

What are the differences between shipping companies, moving companies and PSI?
Most moving companies charge $30.00-$40.00 per box, our company charges $7.00-$18.00 per box (in Florida), we don’t charge for time at all. Please don’t forget that our prices are more competitive than any shipping relocation or moving services company. We also have the best packing employees in the business, we demand that our employees have worked for a minimum of one year for a moving company, or else they cannot work for our company. Most moving companies hire people with no experience in packing, loading services or moving items without damaging them. If they charge by the hour, they will waste your time and money because they want to make as much money as they can from your time.

Will I have to pay for anything besides labor costs for my move with a moving services company?
Yes, you may have to pay for required packing supplies and for special care required to pack delicate or over sized items such as televisions or pianos. Make sure to discuss these fees with your moving company before your move.

Do I have to pay for the time it takes for the trucks to arrive at my house from the company’s office and back again?
All moving company’s charge for what is called travel time from and to the office. PSI don’t charge for travel time as it is part of your flat price and we do not charge by the hours

Are PSI’s movers experienced workers?
Our employees are experts in packing services, loading / unloading trucks, containers and pods. They are seasoned professionals with the best knowledge in the business of how items should be loaded and stacked. Our employees must work for a different moving companies for at leased one year before we will hire them to work for us. Most moving and packing companies hire people with no experience in packing services or moving items without damaging them.

How far in advance do I need to reserve my move?
We recommend you reserve your moving date ASAP! You should note that movers are very busy from the 23rd to the 6th of every month.


Can I ride with the movers on my moving day?
No, moving companies do not allow passengers to accompany them in the moving truck for liability reasons.

Does a moving company need to be licensed?
All moving companies are required to be “registered” and have operating permits for the province, State or County they are operating in. You should check with your local agencies.

When do I need to pay for my moving services?
Moving companies will charge you a deposit and the rest of the money at time before unloading, but we do not, we will only charge you at the end of your move when all items are off the truck.

What is a booking agent?
This is the agent you choose as your mover or the member of a van line that will coordinate all dates and services for your move. PSI do not have or use any booking agents, as a professional packing company we do our own jobs.

What is a moving broker?
A moving broker is a 3rd party company that will book your move and sell it to a moving company of there choice. Don’t ever book your move with a broker as they don’t have any control over your move and they probably don’t even care, as they are in the booking jobs business not the moving business, this is how the moving scams starts.

What is full packing?
Your movers will pack everything for you. Make sure to keep any legal papers, medicines and valuables with you during the move, let our company do the packing services which will take us only few hours to finish everything.

How can I ensure that special items will be treated with extra-special care?
You can move some of the items that have high sentimental or monetary value yourself. If you prefer to let your movers complete this task, make sure you clearly indicate which items you would like them to take special care with during the move.

Am I expected to tip the guys?
Yes and no, our employees will not ask for a tip like most other moving companies but it is customary to tip the guys for a job well done.

Do I have to empty all of my filing cabinets?
Metal filing cabinets with 2-drawers can be left full, but you should empty the top 2 drawers of a 4-drawer cabinet. You should also completely empty all lateral file cabinets and all drawers of a wood cabinet.

Will my movers clean my home once my move is complete?
Most professional movers will clean up any mess they have made during the actual move. However, they don’t perform general house cleaning so you must hire a professional cleaning service or perform this task yourself.

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