Five New York City-based moving companies have been slapped with violations after an undercover sting found they were operating without licenses, officials said.
The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs hit a total of 29 unlicensed moving companies with Notices of Violation and $2,500 civil penalties, the division and the state’s Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said on Monday.
Staten Island-based ½ Price Movers and Go To Moving & Storage, Manhattan-based Imperial Moving & Storage (also known as Lion’s Den Enterprises) and Brooklyn-based Princeton Movers (also known as Great Eastern Movers) and TB Moving (or TB Moving & Storage) were among the companies busted in the “Operation Mother’s Attic” sting.
Go To Moving & Storage actually received a $5,000 civil penalty, as the company was busted for operating without a license in a 2016 sting as well, the division said.
“An unlicensed moving company can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare,” Grewal said in a statement. “They’ve been known to hold truckloads of property hostage until the customer pays an extortionate fee.”
They also often operate without proper insurance, “creating the risk that homeowners will be left high and dry if their property is seriously damaged during the move,” Grewal added.
In April, investigators from the division’s Office of Consumer Protection pretended to be moving from a neighborhood in Montville, New Jersey, and hired the unlicensed companies to help out, the division said.
When the movers got to Montville, they found themselves face-to-face with the investigators who issued the violations.
People planning to move should check with the Division of Consumer Affairs to make sure the movers they’re considering have valid licenses, and haven’t been the subject of complaints, the division noted.