Escrow companies can be very helpful assisting a transaction between buyer and seller safely, but you ought to make sure you are using a legit service. Once a deal between a buyer and a seller is established, its time to make a transaction. If you suspect anything fishy then a service like escrow can come in handy. The buyer will send funds directly to the escrow service, then they will notify the seller to ship out the goods. Once the goods arrive at your doorstep you have an inspection period to verify the legitimacy of goods. If everything proves to be okay, escrow releases the funds to the buyer. As you see in this situation, buyers and sellers can not scam one another and the deal goes smoothly, that is unless you run into a bogus escrow company.
Scammers can set up a fake escrow website. They promise you to provide escrow services, but once you make a payment believing you are doing a safe transaction the fake escrow website will take your money and disappear. It is a growing problem and you should always check your escrow company before you do anything at all. Here is a list of legit and verified escrow sites: