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FMCSA investigating household movers for safety, commercial violations

May 22, 2024
The agency’s latest initiative, the second iteration of Operation Protect Your Move, will use the National Consumer Complaint Database to investigate HHG carriers and brokers.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is cracking down on the safety and commercial violations of household goods movers with its latest enforcement initiative to investigate mover scams from carriers and brokers: Operation Protect Your Move 2024.

The initiative focuses on investigating HHG carriers and brokers with significant complaints in FMCSA’s National Consumer Complaint Database, and on addressing complaints of HHG carriers’ noncompliance with transportation regulations.

“Americans deserve a fair deal when they move into a new home—and we’re cracking down on moving companies that hold people’s possessions hostage,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in a press release. “This initiative will build on last year’s progress holding scammers accountable and is another example of the measures the Biden administration is taking to better protect consumers.”

This year’s operation will target movers and brokers with the highest numbers of consumer complaints before the busy summer moving season.

“We take our consumer protection role seriously and aim to help educate and protect those who may be moving their household goods from one state to another,” said FMCSA Acting Deputy Administrator Sue Lawless. “We are committed to this work, and we are putting forth even more resources to make a greater impact, including increasing the number of HHG investigators on staff and establishing additional partnerships with state attorneys general offices.”

See also: FleetOwner 500: Top 10 for-hire household goods fleets

Last year’s Operation

FMCSA first launched Operation Protect Your Move 2023.

From March 20 through April 7 last year, the administration conducted investigations in 16 states to address HHG hostage complaints, where movers reportedly held household possessions to extort additional charges from customers. Later in the year, the administration also launched three HHG broker-focused operations.

FMCSA says that, combined, its 2023 operations discovered 1,014 violations of FMCSA regulations. The agency says it issued appropriate enforcement tools for the violations, ranging from Letters of Probable Violation to revoking moving companies’ FMCSA operating authority.

The agency regularly cracks down on household goods carriers for safety and commercial violations—such as when the Moving Fraud Task Force shut down five companies in 2013 and its crackdown on 12 interstate moving companies in 2005.

About the Author

Jeremy Wolfe | Editor

Editor Jeremy Wolfe joined the FleetOwner team in February 2024. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with majors in English and Philosophy. He previously served as Editor for Endeavor Business Media's Water Group publications.

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