“We’d be doing a lot better if these guys weren’t skimming from us,” Ron Montanez, director of operations for Aaron’s Reliable is quoted as saying in the article.
Unlicensed movers in Chicago enjoy the same advantages that unlicensed moving companies  do nationwide: much lower operating costs because they don’t have insurance and don’t have the expenses of obtaining a license; fewer regulators enforcing existing laws; and shippers so enthralled with saving money that they’re willing to take their chances.
The situation is exasperated by a chilly economy, as more folks with a truck and a pair of arms get into the business.
From the Tribune: “An out-of-work carpenter named Tom is one of them. He wouldn’t give his last name but said he started posting a few weeks ago after carpentry jobs dried up and he needed another source of income. He had what’s needed to be a mover: able body, pickup truck and Internet connection.”
The authorities are trying to keep up with what seems like a spate of unlicensed movers. They’ve ticketed 80 movers in the six-county Chicago area, which is up from 65 in all of 2008 and more than any year in recent history, according to the Illinois Commerce Commission.
Of course, going with an unlicensed mover brings up all sorts of issues, well catalogued by sites like movingscam.com.
However, I rarely hear about one of the biggest risks of all when you go with the unlicensed, uninsured fly-by-nighters: they don’t have Worker’s Comp. And if you’re moving to a new home, you might not have purchased homeowners insurance  or renters insurance  yet.
So if a mover hurts himself at your place, you could be on the hook for a huge legal bill.
Forget losing all your physical stuff.
That could drain every last penny you have.