So to start with you need to know that there are dozens of websites that are fraudulent. The bottom line is that valid escrow websites generally offer the following services
1. Valid authentication of all parties. There ought to be some professional body or third party verification system. For example we have the Solicitor’s Regulatory Authority.
2. Make sure you can identify those people on the website with a real person. Once our website was cloned and I was being referred to as Michael Coyle a Solicitor in South Africa, problem with this was that we were based in London and I was not a black male in my 60s! I always provide ID and meet the parties wherever I can. Trust is essential.
2. Do not use any third party that uses Western Union, Money gram etc, even Pay Pal raises some concerns. We use our client account which is a bank account regulated and protected by the SRA. So this means that if I am a crook and run off with the funds in client account. Then the SRA will step in and indemnify you and your losses. Meanwhile I will be struck off and face prison.
3. Do not use any third party that offers similar guarantee schemes i.e. eBay or something similar. The escrow service is so simple. We are ‘piggy in the middle’ the asset is only ever released upon the kicking in of various triggers. It’s not rocket science.
4. There are more fraudulent sites than legitimate ones. So be careful.