A couple lost everything when they booked the wrong movers

British couple Mark Higgins and Becky Szenk had recently had a baby, gotten engaged, and were about to embark on an entrepreneurial adventure running a country pub called Horse and Jockey in Walsall Wood, 13.5 miles north of Birmingham. The couple had been living in nearby Bilston, but were ready to fully embrace the country pub manager lifestyle, which often includes residence above the pub.

In preparation for the move, 22-year-old Becky set about finding a moving company and settled on one she found on Facebook under the name Lee Green.

On the day of the move, two men with a white van turned up at Becky and Mark's apartment. As instructed, the couple had boxed up all of their belongings and labelled all the boxes. The moving men set to work quickly, removing the appliances, furniture, and boxes. "The removal men were racing in and out of the flat. We just thought they were being very professional," Becky said. When the apartment was empty and the van full, the men drove off.

An hour later, the men had failed to turn up at the Horse and Jockey, a 20 minute drive from their old apartment. Becky and Mark tried telephoning repeatedly, but got nothing but voicemail. Then came the awful realization that they had been the victims of an online scam.

Everything that they owned was gone: furniture, clothing, documents, and all the family photos. An entire lifetime just disappeared. "I have never cried more in my life than I did on Friday afternoon — I am so distraught that they have taken my engagement ring and my baby's toys," Becky lamented. The only thing that wasn't stolen was their television, which they had transported themselves to be sure it wasn't damaged. 

"It's left us absolutely heartbroken. We can get new furniture but the personal stuff cannot be replaced," Becky said.

"For us it's been a big lesson to learn. I just hope others can be more careful about trusting people they book over social media as I would hate for this to happen to anyone else."

As devastating as their loss was, Becky and Mark's faith in humanity was soon restored when their new neighbors began collecting items to get them back on their feet. As soon as news of their terrible experience reached the public, donations of furniture, clothes, appliances and clothes started pouring in. A GoFundMe page raised £4,000. Becky and Mark were overwhelmed by the generosity.

"We are so grateful and thankful that people have found it in their hearts to donate to us," Becky said. "We appreciate all the donations of furniture and bits for our home, but also all the donations on our gofundme page — it is truly heartwarming for us."

Although Becky and Mark's new adventure had a rough start, it seems they've landed in a wonderful community. A good sign for things to come!



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