Better Business Bureau (BBB) headquarters issued a warning this week to online car shoppers: Watch out for phony escrow services.
“The purpose of an escrow service is to create a safe environment where both the buyer and seller feel comfortable exchanging money and goods knowing they can’t be taken advantage of,” said Steve Cox, BBB spokesperson. “Unfortunately, scammers have realized they can cash in on this type of transaction by creating a facade of trustworthiness as an escrow company.”
Escrow fraud is typically perpetrated through online auctions or classified Web sites. Both eBay and Craigslist have posted warnings to consumers about escrow fraud on their Web sites, but BBB notes, shoppers continue to fall for the scam as the cons become more sophisticated.