E-Communicator Article

FMCSA, DOT, FMC Officials Present Moving Fraud Alliance Strategy at 2015 CMSA Convention

At the 2015 Convention, a special presentation will be given from important industry officials regarding an anti-moving fraud alliance between the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC). Presenters FMCSA Acting Administrator and Chief Counsel T.F. Scott Darling III, Special Agent in Charge William Swallow of the DOT Office of Inspector General and Office of Consumer Affairs & Dispute Resolution Deputy Director Jennifer Gartlan of FMC will be discussing their research findings in household goods criminal activity by licensed and unlicensed operators, and what strategies the agencies are pursuing to curb this activity and protect the moving public.

What are the agencies doing to combat fraud cases in the industry?
Due to the results in a fact finding investigation conducted by the FMC, the agency decided to enter into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the FMCSA in 2012 to join forces to combat illegal activity in the country and abroad. In the MOU, both the FMC and the FMCSA agreed to share electronic information to determine and alleviate industry issues, conduct joint investigations and training to maximize enforcement efficiency and conduct joint outreach strategies to inform consumers about choosing the right service provider.

The DOT’s Office of Inspector General is continuing its campaign against illegal activity in the industry by conducting operator investigations. In the past five years, the agency’s investigations have helped curb the activity in issuing search and arrest warrants that result in convictions and imprisonment as well as issuing penalties of more than $2.8 million. At the Convention, Swallow will discuss the many different fraud cases and penalties given for various illegal activities.

What kind of information/resources can the agencies provide consumers to avoid moving fraud?
The FMCSA provides tools, checklists and brochures on its www.protectyourmove.gov website for consumers to review before hiring movers. There are files available to view online that show consumers what moving terms they should be familiar with, what moving forms they should receive throughout the process of the move and the red flags to be aware of when looking for moving quotes. The website also provides links to state associations for consumers to call for information on intrastate moves.
The FMC also has a similar website dedicated to informing consumers about choosing a reputable mover. On its website, the agency has many brochures for any type of overseas transportation services, including international shipping for household goods. The brochure goes into some detail about international shipping terminology, checklist of tasks to do in planning the move and providing contact information for the agency’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Dispute Resolution Services (CADRS). CADRS provides consumers assistance in their international move as well as provides moving companies information on international shipping questions. The department also provides dispute resolution services between moving companies and consumers, and moving companies and other service providers.

Where can I learn more information about these presenters?
CMSA lists all the Convention speakers’ biographies and photos on its Convention kiosk online. For more information about the moving fraud presenters, please visit http://www.thecmsa.org/html/convention/2015-97th-paradise-point/2015/speakers.htm# Guest_Speakers. This presentation will be held during the Friday morning General Business Session, so make sure to plan ahead to attend this special presentation!

If you haven’t yet registered for the Convention, it’s not too late! Sign up today by calling the CMSA office at (562)865-2900 or download the registration form(s) at our online kiosk at http://www.thecmsa.org/html/convention/2015-97th-paradise-point/2015-forms.html.

FMCSA, DOT, FMC Officials Present Moving Fraud Alliance Strategy at 2015 CMSA Convention

- CMSA Communicator

California Moving & Storage Association 1998-2013
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