I just wrote a whole big thing and then it signed me out so here I go again.
Via our broker, we signed up for a HeldHarmless.com WHOLE HARMLESS ADVANTAGE PLAN ESCROW AGREEMENT Payable to: FIDELITY FUND (Escrow Services) which was wired $750 from our account to a JP Morgan Chase account in NYC. We were doing a private mortgage (long but short story that I won't get into here). This was the end of February 2012.
Our broker received the confirmation and after a couple of days, we (& broker) started receiving emails from HeldHarmless.com stating they were redoing their system and were having IT issues but everything should be good to go sometime in April. At that point, it was all good. But I couldn't help wonder why it would take so long since I was in the software industry a while back and know some IT people. But we coughed it up since it was financial and that could take a little longer than usual. Well, here it is in May 2012. Their customer service has never been online since we did this. Their phone number only goes to voicemail of which nobody ever returns a call. One of the emails received after the deposit stated to watch for phone calls coming from an unlisted number. HUH??? Why unlisted? Flag. I've emailed all three email address every single day with the same information. I have heard nothing back. Flag.
The company has a NYC address of which you have already discussed. Post box, not even a real office. I dug deeper to find that HH points to Washington DC after they listed themselves on websites that have a predominantly Asian following like Alibaba. The 202 (WDC) number also goes straight to the same voicemail. So deductive reasoning, nobody is answering ergo, I feel it's a scam. My broker can't even get through to them and he has a bunch of clients waiting on the same thing as us.
Names associated with HeldHarmless.com are as follows:
Anthony Baratt (trustee)
J. William Phillips (trustee) (302) 351-2445
Allan Grayson (supposedly our account manager)
Gina & Grant Freer (r/e agents in FL)
Charles Mellon (212)820-7958 email@example.com
That is all I was able to find...so far. So now, I am getting ready to file a complaint with every single bureau and agency I can. I am one that is not afraid to put up a fight when it comes to people trying to wrong me. My broker is not only embarrassed but livid. We are beyond that. If anyone is interested, I would like to post copies of the emails we received if anyone would like to see them and any opinions would be welcomed.
If by any chance someone from HeldHarmless.com sees this, I want a working phone number that will connect me to a live person who has immediate access to our file. I do not want any more excuses from your end.
You want to know how I really feel? -->
(I'm the one with the axe.)