Scarborough moving company being investigated for extortion scheme

Police in Toronto have busted an alleged scam involving moving companies.

Two families moving from Alberta to Eastern Canada came forward, making accusations of an extortion attempt and police believe there are more out there with similar experiences.

In one case, a price of $2,700 was agreed on but when it came time for the movers to deliver the belongings the family was told it would have to pay $14,000 to get their things back or else everything would be destroyed.

Toronto Police say a company named Green Moving, run out of Scarborough, would also use different aliases to mask the identities of accused schemers.

"We're asking persons with recent dealings involving companies operating out of Toronto known as Green Moving, Rider Moving, Landmark Van Lines, or Capital Moving Services...we ask that you contact the Toronto Police Financial Crimes Unit," Financial Crimes Acting Inspector Ian Nichol pleads.

He says the weight of a load would be falsified as a way of trying to legitimize the increase in price. In one case, a family was told their load weighed 1,200 pounds and when police weighed the seized items the total came out to 500 pounds.

There's another aspect to this, too. "There's a deliberate effort to confuse consumers by having one company show up to pick up the load that isn't necessarily the same company as the company you hired. Another company with a different name will charge your credit card for a deposit, for example, that will be somebody else. So, at the end, you don't even know who you're dealing with," Nichol explains.

A 30-year-old Toronto man has been charged with two counts of fraud over $5,000, two counts of possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000, and one count of extortion.

Nichol says more arrests are possible but in the meantime the company is still in operation. "It's difficult at this point for various reasons. I believe there are other victims but there may also be services they're conducting where there aren't complaints. We have to establish which ones may have complaints related to them. There may be some civil issues, as well, and we have to decide which one is which."