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Moving Fraud - Overview. What is Moving Fraud?. Deceptive Business Practices by predatory Movers, Auto Transporters and Brokers upon American Consumers. Moving Fraud manifests itself through many different schemes, in mostly via the Internet. The Most Serious Moving Fraud Schemes.

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Presentation Transcript
what is moving fraud
What is Moving Fraud?
  • Deceptive Business Practices by predatory Movers, Auto Transporters and Brokers upon American Consumers.
  • Moving Fraud manifests itself through many different schemes, in mostly via the Internet.
the rogue mover problem s
The Rogue Mover Problem(s)


Shipments Held Hostage

Safety Violations

Credit Card Fraud

Fraudulent Documents

False Advertising

Tax Evasion

Internet and Wire Fraud

Rogue Mover

False Identities

Labor Law Violations

the impact of moving fraud
The Impact of Moving Fraud
  • Hundreds of American Consumers are swindled out of cash and property;
  • Rogue movers are parasites on the Industry depriving legitimate movers of business, often permanently; and
  • Rogue movers are often noncompliant of state and local laws including tax laws creating a burden on municipal and state governments.
moving fraud complaints in calendar year 2011
Moving Fraud Complaints in Calendar Year 2011
  • 2851 Complaints overall
  • 588 Complaints of Property held Hostage (Approximately 21%)
  • 1538 Complaints of Deceptive Practices concerning Estimates and Charges (Approximately 54%)
the profile of the moving fraud victim
The Profile of the Moving Fraud Victim
  • Full Spectrum of the Middle Class
  • Educated to Well Educated
  • Fluent in the use of the Internet
  • Accustomed to high quality customer service:
    • Expectation that demands will be quickly met; and
    • Highly susceptible to patronization and social engineering.
noteworthy victims of rogue movers
Noteworthy Victims of Rogue Movers
  • An NBA Player
  • A Detective Lieutenant from a large city police department
  • Husband and Wife, both Prosecuting Attorneys
  • A Math Professor from an Ivy League University
states with the highest number of moving fraud complaints cy2011
States with the Highest Number of Moving Fraud Complaints – CY2011*
  • Florida
  • California
  • Texas
  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • Illinois
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Virginia
  • Nevada

*Based on Complaints submitted to the National Consumer Complaint Database

metropolitan areas were rogue movers are the most prevalent
Metropolitan Areas were Rogue Movers are the most Prevalent
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami-Fort Lauderdale
  • New York (including Northern New Jersey)
  • Chicago (including Eastern Indiana)
  • Houston
  • Dallas
  • Atlanta
metropolitan areas where rogue mover activity is present and emerging
Metropolitan Areas where Rogue Mover Activity is Present and Emerging
  • Las Vegas
  • Washington-Baltimore
  • Denver
  • Seattle-Tacoma
  • Kansas City
  • Boston
A Surge of Moving Fraud Complaints

is Anticipated to Occur in the

Hurricane Sandy Disaster Area

the household goods movers oversight and reform act of 2005
The Household Goods Movers Oversight and Reform Act of 2005
  • Increased the penalties for violations of certain statutes and regulations, specifically holding a HHG shipment hostage and operating without authority
  • Allowed FMCSA to delegate some of its authority to state enforcement agencies and state attorneys general
understanding the authority of fmcsa
Understanding the Authority of FMCSA
  • What FMCSA CANDo:
    • Enforce very specific Federal Statutes and Regulations;
    • Initiate civil enforcement actions that result in fines;
    • Suspend or Revoke a motor carrier or broker’s authority to operate interstate; and
    • Share Information with other agencies to support investigations
  • What FMCSA CAN’TDo:
    • Initiate a criminal prosecution on its own;
    • Act as an advocate for victims;
    • Detain individuals or seize property;
    • Liberate and Recover Personal Property on behalf of Victims; or
    • Physically shut down a business.
Rogue Moving Operations does

harm to Consumers, Industry,

Communities, big and small,

and cannot be solved by

FMCSA alone

household goods enforcement partnerships
Household Goods Enforcement Partnerships
  • The United States Congress recognized that it would take a Joint Effort to combat Moving Fraud and addressed it in Household Goods Mover Oversight and Reform Act of 2005 part of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) legislation.
household goods enforcement partnerships1
Household Goods Enforcement Partnerships
  • SAFETEA-LU legislation gave state enforcement agencies (49 U.S.C. § 14710) and state attorneys general (49 U.S.C. § 14711) the authority to enforce the Federal household goods consumer protection statutes and regulations.
  • Working with FMCSA states can use this authority to better combat moving fraud and address the negative impact of rogue movers in their communities.
summary of 49 u s c 14710
Summary of 49 U.S.C. § 14710
  • States have authority to enforce Federal consumer protection statutes and regulations that apply to individual shippers of household goods.
  • States can initiate enforcement actions for violations of the Federal statutes and regulations using their adjudication systems in their states.
  • States keep fines and penalties from those enforcement actions.
information sharing
Information Sharing
  • 49 U.S.C. § 14710 also gave FMCSA a mandate to establish and implement an Enforcement Assistance Outreach Plan allowing the sharing of information and enhancing the coordination and effective enforcement of Federal laws and regulations between and among Federal and State law enforcement and consumer protection authorities.
summary of 49 u s c 14711
Summary of 49 U.S.C. § 14711
  • The State Attorney General, as “parens patriae”, can initiate a civil enforcement case in Federal District Court against interstate movers and brokers in violation of Federal consumer protection statutes and regulations
working with fmcsa
Working with FMCSA
  • Contributing Partners
    • Agencies given access to the National Consumer Complaint Database to forward complaints and other information directly into the system
  • Enforcement Partners
    • State agencies with written agreements allowing access to FMCSA systems to enforce Federal statutes and regulations
    • Federal agencies with written agreements to work together on enforcement efforts
  • Information Sharing with Law Enforcement
    • Federal, State, and Local law enforcement agencies and prosecutors can receive information from FMCSA via USDOT OIG to support criminal investigations
contributing partners
Contributing Partners
  • An agency that wants to become a Contributing Partner need only register with FMCSA, there is no cost to register
  • That agency is then issued a User ID and Password to access the System to submit complaints and other data by upload
  • FMCSA offers training at no expense to the Contributing Partner how to access the System and submit complaints and data
  • Training is in Webinar format and takes approximately one to two hours
what does fmcsa bring to the partnership
What does FMCSA bring to the Partnership?
  • Training
    • HHG Enforcement Course and In-Service training
    • Training on FMCSA Systems
  • Access to FMCSA Systems
    • NCCDB
    • MCMIS and Licensing & Insurance (L&I) database
    • Query Central
    • FMCSA Compass Portal
State Agencies Define their Role in an Enforcement Partnership through the Memorandum of Agreement with FMCSA
new enforcement strategies using partnerships
New Enforcement Strategies Using Partnerships
  • Improved Information Sharing through the Moving Fraud Working Group
  • Forming Task Force Groups that conduct major investigations targeting specific rogue operations
  • Joint Investigations involving FMCSA and other agencies focusing on Moving Fraud and other noncompliance
The Task Force Groups and

Joint Investigations

Complies with the

Mandate for an

Enforcement Assistance

Outreach Plan

objective of the task force group
Objective of the Task Force Group
  • The Task Force Group, coordinated by FMCSA and composed of FMCSA investigators, enforcement partners, and other agencies as needed, can attack the problem of rogue movers from different directions simultaneously.
  • General Inquiries:
    • Brodie Mack, Team Leader, Commercial Enforcement and Investigations Division
  • To Become a Partner with FMCSA:
    • Monique Riddick, Transportation Specialist, Commercial Enforcement and Investigations Division