12 September 2016
New Scam Targets London Moving Companies

moving house

Imagine the scene. You have gained a new customer, probably the best of customers, the customer who requires an on-going moving service. The Nirvana of moving customers. The first job is completed without fuss. The second one is finished in the same manner. Call at the house, load up the vehicle with the directed items, deliver said goods to a quiet little place of storage. Simple. This process is repeated fairly regularly over the next few weeks. Arriving at the property for yet another job, you are in the middle of loading when you are met by certain gentlemen in uniform. The result is an investigation by the Police and stress as the people from Moving Van can attest to. So how did this happen?

In all good faith a customer service operator from Moving Van receives a call from a potential customer, this happens on a daily basis of course. The voice on the other end of the phone line requires the services of a professional moving company, furniture and other household goods. Standard procedure is to take the customers details, name, address and so on. The client enquires as to company insurances in case of breakages, vehicles size, the general questions anyone would expect to be asked. Towards the end of the call both sides are happy and have the necessities to continue.

When the crew from Moving Van arrived at the address in Kensington, London on the agreed date and a little earlier than intended, they were met by a couple of men.

These men were dressed as one may expect for the demographics of the area. Smooth-looking, elegant, suited and booted, as the chaps in the van commented to one another. The property was a two-storey Victorian house, the value of which the lads would only guess at. The movers, when being interviewed by the Police at a later date, describe how the customers escorted them into the house, instructed them which specific items were to go, specifically expensive items it was noted. A smooth leather sofa, an antique oak cabinet, a maple furniture set, and a beautiful Dalbergian table are among the things that were loaded into the removal van.

removal services

The movers state that the supposed customers said that they will be doing renovations and they want the expensive items removed from the house in case of damage whilst the works are carried out. They had personal storage already available for all the furniture and household appliances and they were all taken to a shady, but secure-looking facility filled with storage units. The movers unloaded everything from the van and into the personal unit, and that was supposedly it, nothing too taxing, a standard move.

The following day Moving Van received another call from the same caller as before. Ever happy to be helping such wealthy customers, another team of 3 men with a van was despatched. This time the two had discovered a few more antique pieces that should be moved for safety reasons. Again the movers carried out the job like the professionals that they are, not suspecting anything wrong. The invoice was settled again with cash and then movers returned to company HQ, with the agreement that they would return the next day for a ‘finishing touch’ as one of the men described it.

The third day of moving came and the team set off. They arrived to the house in Kensington, met the two men, and proceeded as the previous day. This days task comprised of a few boxes and an armchair. The movers were almost finished loading the van when they were taken aback by the appearance two police cars, not a normal occurrence the chaps noted to one another. The customers became agitated with these events and shifted to one side away from the front door. The police cars stopped next to the van, one at either end, this van was going nowhere. It was at this moment the two customers made a dash for it, a worthless attempt due the appearance of another car with flashing blue lights.

It transpires that the two had watched the property and movements of the occupants for some time and put the plans of theft into action once the family had left for a holiday. The saving grace for the family was that of a vigilant neighbour who noticed the strange activity at their house and decided to inform the Police.

moving scam

Our reporters state that the two have been arrested and charged with breaking and entering along with burglary, and further charges will possibly be made once the house owners return from their holiday. The neighbour informs us that they are ‘livid’. The movers from Moving Van have been cleared as unwitting participants and will only need to make a statement about their involvement in the case.

This only goes to show how important it is to pick the right removal company for your job, but also raises the question whether the companies should also be asking for identity confirmation and ownership of the houses they are removing items from, this is easy enough to achieve with production of a utility bill with matching I.D. With the instigation of such procedures events as described would be cut to a minimum. There are always devious people who will endeavour navigate around these checks but the company will have made a more concerted effort to ensure it doesn't happen again.

About the company: Moving Van is a London based man and van company that specializes in all types of moving services.

PR Contact:
Company name: Moving Van
Tel: 020 87 464 391
Website: https://www.moving-van.org.uk
Contact person: Ryan Benitez
Email: [email protected]
Address: 9 Greyhound Road,
               London, W6 8NX

Securing The House Against Intruders – 10 Tips On How To Avoid Being Robbed

In many ways when a moving company scam is pulled, the fault only too often lies within the house owners. Many home owners rely on a simple lock of the door to keep their house safe. Unfortunately for them, thieves have been resourceful for quite a long time now and they are capable of beating a lock in order to get inside. In order to avoid such a scheme, you need to be prepared to avoid a burglary altogether. Imagine you have to go on a vacation – how do you make sure that your home remains locked, safe, and sound after you have left?

Here are ten tips on how to avoid being burgled while away:

1. Don’t post pictures on Facebook and other social media.

Some of these scammers observe your house or your social media posts and follow your movement. When you post that picture of you having fun at the beach, or a Twitter post with #AtTheBeach #SoMuchFun on it, you are basically opening a door of possibilities to the burglar. Focus on having fun and not posting about having fun – you can do the latter when you return home. Just stay off Facebook and Twitter for a few days, you can do that, right?

2. Have proper window protection.

Many of these scammers enter your house through the window. Windows are rarely secured enough to not let that happen. Convicted burglars have admitted freely that they prefer using the window as they can sneak in easily and then the house is theirs for the taking. A man and van scam can easily take place once that happens. Make sure you bolt the windows, or install some security method of limiting window access, like window bars.

3. Get a better security alarm.

Cheap alarms never do the trick. They are easy to circumvent and thieves confirm that they know how the simpler ones work and how to beat the sensors. Investing more money in a better alarm is not a bad idea if you are planning on leaving the house unattended for a few days. A non-visible one would even be better.

4. Have a hidden safe for all your valuables.

In the case that the scammers do enter the house, you should at least limit their access to some of your items. If you are leaving something in the house, then at least make sure it’s safe… within a safe. Buy a secure, code-locked safe and place it somewhere hidden. Then place all your valuables there and enjoy safety. Even a man and a van trick won’t work, because removal companies have a rule about not moving valuables.

5. Have visible cameras around.

The best way to avoid being robbed is to intimidate the scammers with a good security system. But not the type they have to discover for themselves – one that is visible and immediately threatening their exposure. Visible cameras are sometimes too much work to bother with, and even if they do break in, nobody would try and hire a man with van to steal away your belongings with while being openly observed.

6. Keep patio furniture inside the locked house or garage.

Thieves don’t always go for the front door or the back window. Every now and then they go for the second floor window. And a very easy way to get there is to make a makeshift ladder with patio furniture since many people don’t bother to bring in their patio furniture. A table, chairs, even a parasol – why not provide an actual ladder as well? One way to stop a thief is by taking away their resources.

7. Tell your neighbours to report suspicious activity.

If you have befriended your neighbours, then you will have the advantage against thieves. With the neighbour, you have one or more sets of watchful eyes making sure that nothing strange is happening while you are away. If a removal van suddenly appears on your driveway and strangers come up to meet it, then the neighbours will surely notice it and report it. A man with van scam will not go too well when you have allies in the vicinity.

8. Don’t put annoying stickers – have an actual dog around.

Burglars laugh at stickers. But no sticker will be as convincing as the saliva-dripping fangs of your unleashed Rottweiler, running freely in your yard.  If you have a big dog in your yard, that’s wonderful. Keep it at home when you go on vacation and have your neighbour take care of it. This is the perfect security measure, because the dog is as a loyal protector as they can get – burglars, man with a van, it doesn’t matter, they will all stay at a distance, lest they wish to get fanged down.

9. Secure the pet door.

And speaking of pets, if you have one and you have a doggy door, do make sure to close it up when leaving the house. Many professionals actually do possess the flexibility to crawl through it and control the house with a bit of slyness and sneaking skills. Secure the pet door as best you can and it will not be a point of potential entry.

10. Never leave spare keys lying around.

Many home owners keep spare keys in a secret place in case they forget their own. That is a bad idea if you will be away for a while. As mentioned, many thieves keep targets under surveillance and they know where the ‘hidden’ keys are. What would be better is to give the keys to your neighbours, a friend, or not keep any spares at all and be mindful of the ones you have.

There are many ways to protect your home against burglaries. Those who attempt the removal company scams rely on poor security and make use of your bad taking care of the house when away. So if you learn how to make sure nobody but you can get in the house, or arrange so that the house is protected, you will not be in any thieving trouble. And then you can enjoy your holiday while resting assured no wrong will befall your home.

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