Escrow payment is a good thing that has come to stay, no doubt.
But, it can also be a bad thing that can lead to very unfortunate incidences for people who use it, depending on which escrow service company you get yourself entangled with.
Problems that you can face when you use a wrong, fake, fraudulent or scam escrow company range from losing your money and assets. But is can also be as serious as being arrested by local authorities or international police for money laundering and various other financial crimes that you may not be aware of.
The international body, IFESAB, that regulate the activities of escrow companies globally (or at lease in most countries that are signatories to the international escrow finance treaty) seem not to have granted license to most local escrow companies – who may actually be either unaware of IFESAB or do not meet the strict licensing requirements and have decided to operate without certification.
This would not have been a problem if Nigeria, as a country, was not a signatory to the ….
Unfortunately (or fortunately), Nigeria and some other African nations are. See list of countries that are signatories to the treaty. Hence escrow companies operating in these countries, including Nigeria, MUST be certified by …
This therefore means that any escrow service company operating without certification from … is illegal and its operators are liable to arrest and prosecution. But it doesn’t stop there.
Clients or people who use those illegal escrow service companies are liable to the same level of prosecution too.
So in a bid to carry out safe online transactions, you can decide to use any escrow service company you find online only to wake up one day and have law enforcement officers (whether local EFCC, DSS and other law enforcement or even international law enforcement) at your doorstep to pick you up.
It can be as bad as that.
Hence, it is very vital that you carry out due diligence before using any escrow company no matter how appealing their adverts may be or who referred you to them.
The best way you can know if an escrow company is registered and safe to use in order not to land yourself into serious trouble is to conduct a search by following the steps below:
1. Get the registration/certification number of the escrow company that you intend to use. This should normally be brandished on their websites or documents.
2. Head onto the website of the international regulatory body for escrow companies.
3. Key that registration/certification number into the search bar on the website, submit and wait for it so search.
The search results that will be displayed will tell you if the escrow company is certified and safe and will not cause you trouble sooner than later.
If the escrow company is certified, then you can proceed to use it for your transaction. Else, you should run for your life.
All the best with being safe online.