Escrow fraud is pretty common -- a fraudulent seller will offer to use
an escrow service, but ONLY the one he or she suggests, which is
invariably one you've never heard of.
premier-escrow.com initially shows all the signs of being one of these
fraudulent services, but has one strange twist.
The WHOIS info for premier-escrow.com is as follows:
144 Woodstock Ave.
Clarendon Hills, IL 60514
Registrar Name....: Register.com
Registrar Whois...: whois.register.com
Registrar Homepage: http://www.register.com
Domain Name: PREMIER-ESCROW.COM
Created on..............: Tue, Oct 15, 2002
Expires on..............: Wed, Oct 15, 2003
Record last updated on..: Fri, Oct 18, 2002
(Administrative contact info the same)
As you can see, the domain was registered less than two weeks ago, and
the registrant is an individual, not a company. This is very unusual
for a corporate registration.
Further, the website itself is rather amateurishly constructed, and
most importantly, contains no non-electronic contact methods. (phone
The twist is that Gib Bassett is a Professor of Finance and Economics
at the University of Illinois at Chicago, exactly the kind of person
you might expect to start an escrow company.
If you're really curious about this, I would suggest contacting him at
the verifiable University email or phone on his UIC web site:
http://tigger.uic.edu/~gib/vit.htm and asking what's up.
My guess (without knowing what Gib will say) is that it is either a
preproduction web experiment (or possibly a demonstrator for a
class?), that would inform you of such if you actually tried to use
it, or a very small, very new attempt at creating an escrow company.
If you're trying to buy something from someone using escrow, and they
are insisting that you use this (or any other unknown) service as
opposed to a well-known one, I would not proceed with the transaction.
The best way to prevent escrow fraud is to only use a well-known
Here is a list of many legitimate and illegitimate escrow sites:
(premier-escrow is not on this particular list yet, as either a known
valid site or a known fraudulent site)
Search terms: escrow fraud