Avoiding escrow fraud should be at the top of the list for anyone buying a home or looking for a safe place to keep his or her money. Choosing a safe international escrow service is paramount for keeping your money secure and accounted for by a professional. There are many factors to examine when considering which international escrow service is fit enough to handle your money as a legitimate third party. Dealing only with licensed companies that you can back check in an online legal database is the first step in choosing the best service.
The best international escrow companies are licensed by the state or territory in which they reside. These licensing groups include the Department or Division of Corporations in each U.S. state, the Better Business Bureau in the United States, and Trading Standards in the United Kingdom. It is in your best interest to ensure that an escrow company is listed with one of these governing bodies before trusting your hard-earned money to a third party for safekeeping prior to an important transaction.
You should also read the terms and conditions of the escrow carefully. Illegitimate companies may throw in a provision that could cost you large sums of money in the future. Find out the penalty given if one or more parties pulls out of the transaction prematurely. Examine the document for any escrow fees concerning the end result of the transaction. When possible, call and ask to speak directly with an escrow agent from the company to ensure that all of your questions about the service are answered clearly.
One way to figure out whether an escrow service is legit is to conduct an online search of the company's name with phrases that indicate fraudulent behavior. Phrases such as "fraud", "bad service", "scam", and "avoid" can help you find out whether an international escrow company can be trusted. If you find a number of reviews or blog posts that eschew the company, criticize the company for poor customer service, or are scamming customers out of their money, it might not be in your best interest to entrust that company with your money.