"Clearly, the next day when they got there, it was not 3 Men Movers," Howard told Davis.
"Anybody can pay to have their brand show up on the page search results of some of these search engines," said Mitch Gonzalez of the real 3 Men Movers.
Gonzalez says some companies go as far as creating a bogus website with a real number to mislead customers into calling.
"Very slick, very slick... very scary to know that they can manipulate people at a time when they are the most vulnerable," Gonzalez said.
But Dan Parsons with the Houston Better Business Bureau says even if you have checked out a company before you hire them doesn't mean you should let your guard down.
"You hired XYZ," explains Parsons. "We're due at 9 o'clock tomorrow and truck ABC shows up. Hold it. There's nothing that says you can't say, 'No, I want to find out what's going on.'"
New rules require every mover to have state and federal licensing numbers printed on their truck and their contracts. Howard's movers did, but if she would have checked the licensing numbers online, she would have discovered the license had expired two months earlier. Check licensing numbers online at http://apps.dot.state.tx.us/apps/mccs/mccs_frame_search_collector.htm.
If a mover is trying to hold your items hostage for additional payment, you should call police. A new law that took effect this year allows police to request certain information from movers. If the movers can't or won't provide it, they can get a ticket with a hefty fine.