Here are some ways to avoid getting scammed by assumed "pet transporters." Apparently, they take your deposit and disappear leaving a horrible image of all pet transporters.
Do your research. A lot of it. Are they established on Social media platforms? Do they come up in Google or Yahoo searches? Yelp? Next door? Check for reviews. Legit ones. Not the bots that just hit 5 stars with no comments. While your searching, you can type in their company name followed by "scam" or "ripoff." and see if anything comes up.
Ask them to show you copies of their business license and insurance. Ask them also to show a copy of their USDA certification. Check for company name and make sure the date is current. USDA cert is the standard cert for pet transporters. It is not required but it shows good faith. Legitimate businesses have no problem providing their credentials. If you come across a company delaying or saying that they sent it, be weary and keep searching.
You can also ask for references from previous clients. Ask for names, emails, and dates of transport of three previous clients. Contact them and ask them a few questions to see if they are legit. Ask them if they were happy with the service and would they use them again. If the information does not jive, then keep searching.
People think the most important thing is the cost of service. The most important thing should be quality of care and do you trust them with your pet. Someone low balling a transport quote most likely isn't paying business insurance, commercial auto insurance, pet insurance, roadside assistance fees, stopping at hotels if needed.
Please don't just choose lowest price for any service or product. I mean you don't want Motel 6. You would rather have Marriot service. I know sometimes Wonder Bread will do but not when your pets are concerned. :)
Unfortunately, there are thieves everywhere but there are also many honest businesspeople just trying to make an honest living. I hope I have helped you in your quest to tell the difference.
Have a great day,