Experience with canadaescrowservices.com?
February 11, 2006 10:23 PM   Subscribe

Someone is selling a car via an escrow service, Canada Escrow Services...

He says he's out of the country, the car is at the escrow site in Toronto. If I want the car, I pay them, they ship the car to me, and supposedly if I'm happy, they send the payment to him.

The question(s): Has anyone ever done this? Has anyone ever used this specific escrow service before? How many ways can I get screwed here? The price on the car is also too good to be true (2004 Miata, perfect condition, 20k miles for $3900), so all the alarms are going off. There's always the chance that it's legit so I wanted to run this by the ask.me crowd.
posted by knave to Shopping (15 answers total)
Response by poster: I should note that there are no indications that this is a Nigerian scam. That is, proper grammar, non-form letters, and all around honest sounding guy via email.
posted by knave at 10:25 PM on February 11, 2006

It shouldn't make a whit of difference what escrow service is used if it's legit. Offer your own alternative and if they don't accept walk away.
posted by moift at 10:29 PM on February 11, 2006

Best answer: I don't know about the company, but that photo at the top of the website is just screaming "CSI: Moscow."

And a WHOIS shows that the domain is registered to someone in New Jersey with a Yahoo.com address. Sounds a bit fishy to me.
posted by greatgefilte at 10:30 PM on February 11, 2006

Also none of the icons on that site for Ebay, CNN Money, cars.com etc link to an actual authentication page as seen in the geotrust badge on escrow.com, but they seem like they're trying to pose as badges.
posted by moift at 10:33 PM on February 11, 2006

I don't know about the site in question, but see this article about fake escrow sites.
posted by reverendX at 10:34 PM on February 11, 2006

None of their offices are listed as being in Toronto. I also smell scam and agree with Knave. Find yourself a legit escrow service and use it. If the person says no, walk away.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 10:35 PM on February 11, 2006

Best answer: According to their contact page, they've got offices in Germany, London, and LA, but not in Canada, and their toll-free number is British but is open during Pacific time business hours.

On the front page of their website they note that their service lets you "deal in $A", which certainly doesn't mean "Canadian dollars". That led me to run that text through Google, via which I found another couple of escrow "companies", one as expected in Australia, both of whose domains have disappeared, which makes me believe they're the last fake escrow companies these guys set up.

There's no way this is legit.
posted by mendel at 10:56 PM on February 11, 2006

Best answer: Oh, man, their company info page is a find-and-replace work of art.

We're backed by the world's largest Canada Escrow INC company. Our Canada Escrow INC solution is safe and secure. Online Canada Escrow INC services provided by Canada Escrow INC are provided independently and exclusively by Internet Canada Escrow INC Services, (IDIS), one of its operating subsidiar ies . IDIS is fully licensed and accredited as an Canada Escrow INC company and is subject to compliance with all applicable Canada Escrow INC regulations, including the California Financial and Business Code.

There's your Nigerian-scam signature you mentioned.
posted by mendel at 10:59 PM on February 11, 2006

Response by poster: Nice detective work everyone. I believe it's a confirmed scam at this point...
posted by knave at 11:09 PM on February 11, 2006

Check out the following three links on the front page:


No Canadian company would link to the UK specific domains of these sites.
posted by furtive at 6:01 AM on February 12, 2006

Also, that website is a $50 Template Monster template. Alarm bells, etc.

posted by blag at 6:42 AM on February 12, 2006

It's definitely a scam, based on the price of the car alone. A 2004 Miata should sell for about $10-12K more than what they are asking.
posted by MegoSteve at 6:42 AM on February 12, 2006

Out of curiousity, to whom does one report this kind of fraud?
posted by Popular Ethics at 8:33 AM on February 12, 2006

.... and it's offline. Surprise!
posted by docgonzo at 8:40 AM on February 12, 2006

STAY AWAY FROM Canada Escrow INC!!!!This company is awful. It was the same selling a car from canada story and they have a fairly impressive site. I emailed a million questions and always recieved fast responses regarding the sale of the car. The car was listed on Craigslist and upon contacting the "seller" I was directed to the escrow site. In short, they got my money and I never heard a word again from them. Just wanted to confirm, based on the info already out there that this company is a FRAUD. I filed everything I could file, with everyone that would listen. I would LOVE to see these scumbags caught.
posted by alicia3d at 10:53 AM on March 21, 2006

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