Fake Escrow Service: How It Works
You just won an online auction for a sweet item, whether a bike, a laptop, or even a car. The piece isn't cheap, so you're being incredibly cautious about checking out the owner. To prove he's serious and reliable, the seller suggests a "third-party arbitrator" (escrow service, in other words) that will verify both sides.
The buyer sends the money to the arbitrator, who is also supposed to verify if the product offered for sale really exists. But the arbitrator is part of the scam, being the same person as the seller.
Fake Escrow Service: How To Avoid
If the seller recommends you names such as Yahoo Finance or MSN Finance as arbitrators, stay away. There are no such things. Scammers use well-known names to make their operations look more official.
They simply create fake e-mail addresses and send messages to the buyer confirming that the products really exist. The victims send the money to the arbitrator thinking they are safe, but the arbitrator and the seller are one and the same. In short, only use the official arbitrators of the website you're buying the item from.
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