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An escrow service’s purpose is to safeguard all parties to a transaction. Unfortunately, con artists are resourceful and imaginative, and they make use of this concept to deceive unsuspecting victims by offering them money protection in exchange for untraceable payment.
They frequently utilize well-known brand names like eBay, PayPal, Amazon, or Apple to mask their true identity. Internet Escrow Services, Inc. (IES) is a recognized and licensed independent escrow firm in California, which they claim to use for their services.
Scammers try to convince clients that their money will be safe if they put it in an online escrow service. To give the impression that the communications are legitimate, they frequently use the names and logos of well-known companies.
One such reputed company is Escrow.com. However, when it comes to escrow, many reliable companies may seem like a sham too. So, is Escrow.com legit? In the course of this article, we shall review if Escrow.com is a legitimate company and if you should consider using its services.
What is Escrow.com?
California-based Escrow.com provides an online escrow payment service. They’re registered with the state of California, have an escrow service license, and are members of the BBB.
- Escrow services for buyers and sellers that are simple and secure
- Complying with state rules and regulations.
- Acquainted with all aspects of the escrow procedure
- As an online escrow business, Escrow.com and its subsidiaries in San Francisco, California, enable and speed up e-commerce transactions by ensuring a secure settlement.
For the first time, escrow services can be performed online. Secure online transaction management services have been provided by Fidelity National Financial since 1999 when it was launched.
On this site, you will only find escrow services from Internet Escrow Services, an operating subsidiary of the Escrow.com family of companies. IES is an escrow business subject to all applicable escrow requirements, including the California Financial and Business Code, and is fully licensed and accredited as such.
Is Escrow.com legit?
Escrow.com’s compliance with escrow laws, safety standards, and stage restrictions is regularly reviewed by the regulatory agencies in each state. As the world’s leading online escrow service, Escrow.com can help you protect your transactions. The Escrow.com shield, which has been licensed and bonded since 1999, will give your consumers a sense of security.
They provide a safe and secure environment for the exchange of high-priced domain names between buyers and sellers. Compared to a few years ago, the company’s customer service and turnaround times appear to be substantially slower than before.
Because of the surge in domain transactions, this is likely the case.
One of the first online escrow firms, Escrow.com is owned privately. The company, created in 1999 by Fidelity National Financial, has positioned itself as the Internet’s premier provider of safe transaction management for businesses and consumers.
Escrow.com acts as a trusted third party that receives, retains, and distributes cash in accordance with Buyer and Seller instructions, thereby reducing the risk of fraud. Escrow services are given by an escrow company that is authorized and subject to regulation.
How is Escrow.com legit?
Now you know that Escrow.com is a legitimate organization but how did we come to that conclusion? Following are the metrics that we looked at and decided upon when researching and scrutinizing if Escrow.com is a legit organization:
Accredited with BBB
The Better Business Bureau (BBB), a non-profit organization in North America dedicated to guarding customers against scams, has given them an “A” rating.
As a result of this strict accrediting process, only businesses that adhere to the BBB’s stringent set of standards can claim to be accredited by the organization.
The BBB also helps to keep tabs on frauds in the United States.
Run By A Team Of Reputed Leaders
Escrow.com is run by a team of leaders who have excelled in their respective fields. They have already established themselves as pioneers in the industry of escrow and escrow management. Here is a brief overview of the people behind Escrow.com:
- Matt Barrie: Matt Barrie is a technology entrepreneur who has won numerous awards. University of Sydney’s Electrical and Information Engineering Department hired Matt as an Adjunct Associate Professor to teach Cryptography and Technology Venture Creation. Countless US patent filings use his name. When he started Sensory Networks Inc., a high-performance network security processor manufacturer, he served as CEO. Intel Corporation bought the company in 2012.
- Jackson Elsegood: Escrow.com’s strategic development and operational escrow activities are overseen by Jackson Elsegood. A former First Data and PwC employee with over ten years of experience in international payments, Jackson is committed to helping our customers do business throughout the world. At Macquarie University in Sydney, Jackson earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia.
- Neil Katz: Neil Katz is the Freelancer Group’s Chief Financial Officer and oversees the company’s financial and administrative operations. For almost two decades, Neil has worked in the fields of finance, accounting, and business management as a general manager. IPscape, ThreatMetrix, and others are among the technology firms where Neil has served as CFO.
- Raffaela Maiorano: The legal and compliance functions at Freelancer are overseen by Raffaela Maiorano, Director, Legal & Compliance. A Compliance (and Legal) specialist with over 18 years of experience in regulatory compliance, asset management, private equity, and capital markets in Europe, the United States, and Hong Kong, and Australia, Raff has a wide range of expertise. The Royal Bank of Scotland, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Asset Management UK and GLG Partners (formerly Societe Generale AM (UK) Limited) are only a few of Raffaela’s past employers.
- Yin Zhang: In his role as Senior Director of Engineering at Escrow.com, Yin Zhang is in charge of directing the company’s engineering team, developing technological strategy, and ensuring that engineering quality is in line with business objectives. Yin formerly held senior positions at Freelancer.com and Macquarie Group, where she was responsible for the architecture of large-scale web systems. From the University of New South Wales, Yin holds an honors degree in computer science.
Runs On An Organized Working Mechanism
Because Escrow.com acts as a trusted third party to receive, retain, and only distribute cash when both the Buyer and Seller are pleased, it lowers the risk of fraud on online transactions.
- Both parties agree to the terms. A transaction is started by one of the two parties involved. Following registration with Escrow.com, all parties to the transaction agree to its terms.
- Escrow.com collects money from the buyer on behalf of the seller. Escrow.com validates the payment, and the Seller is told that the funds have been placed “In Escrow” by Escrow.com.
- Merchandise is shipped from Seller to Buyer. The Seller is authorized to dispatch the product and provide tracking information when payment verification has been verified. It is Escrow.com’s job to make sure that the buyer receives the goods.
- The buyer is satisfied with the product. It is up to the buyer to accept or reject the merchandise within a predetermined period of time. Disputes will be raised by the Buyer if their offer is rejected, and they will then proceed to arbitration.
- The Seller receives payment from Escrow.com. Escrow.com releases cash to the Seller from the Escrow Account if the product is accepted.
Great Ratings and Positive Customer Testimonials
Escrow.com has great ratings and “mostly” positive reviews on Trustpilot, a third-party website that scrutinizes and collects honest reviews about companies and organizations. Escrow.com has 4.3 ratings which is considered excellent by Trustpilot, and 812 reviews so far, 82% of which say that the company is above average in terms of operation.
Using Trustpilot’s consolidated feedback for both its service and its location, a company’s TrustScore is computed. There’s a star rating for the TrustScore. The TrustScore isn’t based on an average of all reviews. Many factors come into play, including how many reviews there are and the site’s age.
Thus, it is safe to conclude that Escrow.com reviews based on Trustpilot are honest and accurate.
“Excellent service, very prompt response. I would highly recommend to buy/sell anything through the escrow services.”
“It was great doing business through ESCROW. All steps were very easy to follow. What I like most is the communication with them. They were replying to my messages in a timely manner. They were very professional.”
“So far so good. I just started the transaction for selling a URL. I needed help along the way. Chat Help was great and stayed with me until I was done.”
Looking At The Negative Reviews
Every reputed organization has both negative and positive reviews, however, what matters is the weightage of the negative reviews. As per our research, Escrow.com seems to have a little number of negative reviews too, as of what is on Trustpilot. These reviews mostly complain about the company locking the customer out of their account once they have transferred their properties to the buyer. These complaints are associated with “dodgy” terms and policies that the customers seem to be disappointed with. Here are a few negative reviews about Escrow.com:
“I sold my Shopify store through Escrow. Buyer had accepted the domain transfer, and accepted the transfer overall. I got an email that the funds would be released to me.
The buyer owns what was my business now. Escrow, for some dumb reason, decided to close my account and return the funds to the seller. This is theft. The buyer has my business, and he will also get the funds back. This is absolutely horrible. Escrow does not care, they keep saying that it’s within their policy to return the funds to the buyer. He has ACCEPTED the deal within Escrow. The deal was supposed to be closed and the funds supposed to be delivered to me. Escrow is the worst company on planet earth. I just lost my business because of Escrow.”
Another review complains of something similar on Trustpilot:
“This is the worst experience I’ve encountered with an escrow company. I transferred over $8,000 dollars for a domain purchase. After both the seller and I agreed and signed off, I sent my wire transfer to Escrow.com. All of sudden, I was kicked out of my account with no cause and notice. I am repeatedly trying to get answers as to why they waited for me to send my wire transfer then cancel my transaction and they keep telling me that the “Review Team” made a business decision to close my account.”
Becoming an Escrow.com partner has its benefits
All online markets can use Escrow.com’s secure and dependable payment service.
A relationship with Escrow.com can have a major influence on your business whether you operate an eCommerce or marketplace website or a business that deals in high-ticket transactions. In order to participate in the Escrow.com partnership, a registered partner can use the Escrow.com API to generate, manage and finalize transactions. A secure and trustworthy online payment mechanism is available for all of your transactions on your platform or marketplace.
The Escrow.com shield gives your consumers peace of mind when transacting with third parties they don’t know. Your customers’ trust in your product grows when they know with assurance that there will be no fraud or payment schemes.
What Are The Benefits of Becoming an Escrow.com Partner?
- Enhance your online marketplace or platform by integrating safe payments -The buyer’s funds are held by Escrow.com in a secure trust account while the parties satisfy the terms of their transaction, ensuring that your platform or marketplace is safe and secure.
- There are numerous alternatives for funding and payout – All transactions with Escrow.com are made more convenient by accepting a variety of payment methods.
- Stop deal pullouts at the source – With a pre-funding requirement, you and your clients may be assured that the buyer won’t bail out on you at the eleventh hour, leaving your vendors high and dry.
- Ensure that your transactions are protected by the Escrow.com seal.
- Exceptional customer service – The customer service team is there to assist you and your customers throughout the transaction.
Has Reputed Partnerships
In support of President Obama’s National Export Initiative, Escrow.com has partnered with the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Tradeology – the International Trade Administration’s official blog, has featured the company as an author and guest blogger. The company has also contributed to the inclusion of the term “Escrow Service” in the third edition of the Trade Finance Guide, which was published by the International Trade Administration (ITA).
In 2013, Escrow.com’s transaction volume was more than two billion dollars. The Internet Crime Complaint Center (ICCC), a multi-agency task force made up of the FBI, the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), relies on the company’s considerable efforts to prevent online fraud (BJA).
None of the other escrow sites that Escrow.com is linked with are part of or affiliated with any escrow consortium or organization. All they are is members of two reputable organizations, the Escrow Association of California and the International Commerce Association.
With the help of the Internet Crime Complaint Center, a task force that includes the FBI, the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), and the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Escrow works to protect its clients even more (BJA).
How To Avoid Internet Escrow Scams – Things To Keep In Mind
Internet escrow scammers focus on people’s skepticism and apprehension about dealing with strangers online. They take advantage of people’s trepidation by directing them to fraudulent escrow providers.
Use an established service like Escrow.com to ensure your safety. However, you can take further measures to safeguard yourself.
1. Don’t be pressured into using a particular escrow website or service
When a seller insists on using a certain escrow site to complete a deal, proceed with caution. Before making a final decision, you should conduct a comprehensive investigation of the website. If a company has a website, it doesn’t mean they’re reputable, proceed with caution when dealing.
2. Try to reach customer services by phone
As a result of the haste and shabby design of fraudulent websites, there is a great probability that important information will be omitted or laced with errors. One technique to tell if an escrow service is bogus is to call the customer service number and see if you get a response. If you call and no one answers, that’s a huge red flag. If a communication appears to have been generated by an automatic system, it is likely to be a fraud. If there is no contact information on the escrow website, there is no need to contact them.
3. Verify the endorsements listed on the website
Copying and pasting images of endorsements into a bogus website is a simple process. In order to develop trust with an online escrow website, it is vital to verify all recommendations and credentials first. You should verify the authenticity of any seals on the website, such as TRUSTe, VeriSign Secure, or Better Business Bureau. Inquire as to whether or not the escrow company is registered and confirmed by the licensing authorities listed.
Check the registration date of the escrow site’s domain as well. Fake escrow websites pretend to have been there for years, only to reveal that they’ve been around for just a few days. On domain registrars like godaddy.com and networksolutions.com, you can use the “Whois” function to find out the domain’s registration date.
4. Take a note of the payment system
You will always be asked to transfer money from your bank account to theirs via a reputable escrow business, and you will be given an account and routing number. Ask your bank if the escrow business is legitimate by requesting to know where your money is going. Always be wary of any payment request that asks you to send money directly to an individual rather than a company account or requests that you send money via a personal transfer.
People who ask for money via unorthodox payment methods, such as gift cards or direct wire transfers, should set up alarm bells in their heads.
Credit cards, bank account transfers, or a genuine electronic service like PayPal are the most common methods of payment for large companies.
If you receive an email from a well-known company asking you to make a payment using an atypical method, check their website or contact them using the details on their site to verify the request is authentic.
Wire transfers and gift cards are the most common payment methods used by scammers since you cannot get your money back.
5. Keep an eye for copycats
In order to deceive their victims, fraudulent escrow websites frequently employ domain names that sound similar to the actual thing. Enter the correct URL and make sure that you’ve landed on the correct website before proceeding further. If a corporation claims to be linked with another company, be wary about using it. Use the real company at all times.
6. Run when the words “safe” and “secure” are emphasized
Scammers can shoot themselves in the foot in a variety of ways when it comes to domain name selection. An attentive eye can quickly identify these. When it comes to safety, there is a tendency to place too much emphasis on the word “safe.” Some people take their chances a little too far by including these terms in the domain name of their website (something like secure-Escrow.com).
Also, the usage of a dash in the domain name of an escrow company is a warning flag. Avoid escrow websites with the following extensions;.org,.cc,.biz,.bz,.us, and.info. Using Escrow.com for all of your online transactions is the greatest method to safeguard yourself. Stop doing business with anyone who recommends a bogus escrow website.
7. Check Email Addresses Closely
Even if the sender’s email address appears to be valid at first glance, it’s a good idea to double-check it. Escrow.com appears to have sent an email to [email protected], but a closer check reveals that it is in fact a phony.
The best thing to do is to contact Escrow.com and have the sender blocked. Escrow.com’s support team may need the email for further inquiry if they give you permission to delete it.
Viruses can infect your device if you click on any links, download attachments or respond to an email.
Other Signs to Watch Out For
Because scammers are so resourceful, it’s imperative that you exercise caution. If they can’t utilize Escrow.com because of a legitimate reason, they’ll offer an alternative. Some of those sites may actually be fraudulent escrow services. If you decide to proceed, keep an eye out for the following warning signs:
- The site’s design is reminiscent of that of Escrow.com.
- Claims that eBay, eBay Motors, or Yahoo! Auctions have given their seal of approval.
- A lack of contact information on the website, or if you call the customer service phone number, you can’t get through.
- You won’t be able to find the company if you type it into Google.
- The Better Business Bureau does not have a record of them.
- Fewer than a few weeks or months since the company claimed to have been in existence.
- The so-called corporation insists on Western Union or other person-to-person payment methods.
- Low escrow fees raise suspicions.
- Broken links and inconsistent information on their website. Poor spelling and language.
- Unknown licensing information, such as how the business is licensed or who issues licenses, is often a source of worry Check to see that the license listed belongs to the company in question, and not to a third party. Scammers frequently attempt to pass off the license number of IES as their own.