- What the hell are they
Well, I have never had any problems
with PayPal until earlier this month when I received the following
email... which I originally thought was one of those designed to get
you to send your information for identity theft. I've XXXXX'd out
my personal information, but it doesn't detract from the email itself.
Sent: Saturday, September 09, 2006 6:46 PM
Subject: PayPal Verification Request
your PayPal account has been denied because your name is
similar to or
a match to an entry on the Office of Foreign Assets
Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list. We are required to
verify your identity. In order to regain access to your account,
provide the following documentation:
1. A copy of government-issued photograph identification (i.e.
2. A copy of a utility bill verifying your address
3. A copy of a document verifying your date and place of birth.
the information to +1 303-395-2802, Attention: Compliance.
may also be mailed to the following address:
PayPal, Attention: Compliance
P.O. Box 45950
Omaha, NE 68145
provide the requested information within the next 30 days. If
information is not received within the next 30 days, your PayPal
include the email address listed on your PayPal account in all
Reply to this
e-mail with all questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
At first I thought that someone had
picked up my name from somewhere and are trying to get me to send my
personal info to that fax #. I just filed it with the other
humorous notes I get and forgot about it. A few days later I
tried to log into my PayPal account and got this message...
has been permanently locked with a $0.00 CAD balance. All information
associated with this account has been blocked from the PayPal system
and cannot be registered with another account.
What the heck is this???? I
remembered the email I got and checked it again. Hmmm.... looking
more legit by the moment. From the PayPal website I sent a
request for information and got the following reply
Thank you for contacting PayPal.
Your account has been found in violation of international sanction
regulations. Any funds in your account have been locked. You can obtain
further information from PayPal about the status of your account at
For further information regarding the international sanction
please visit their website at www.treas.gov/ofac
Please let me know if you need further assistance.
PayPal Resolution Services
PayPal, an eBay Company
regulations??? Huh??? Following the two supplied links, I
looked for my name to see what was up. The Bank of England site
does not have any matches to my last name at all. The OFAC site
has a list of names which a few people that match my last name, but no
one that matches my first name (not even close). Did they take
everyone whose last name matches one on the list and lock their
I sent notes to both ebay and PayPal
asking how my name matches any on those lists. I also suggested
they reactivate my account as they are in error with this. It's
only been one business day since I sent the notes, so I'm still hopeful
I'll get some sort of reply. I've been checking around at other
sites, including http://www.aboutpaypal.org and was dismayed to read
all the problems people have encountered. Only time will tell how
this one turns out....
September 9, 2006 6:46 PM - Received initial email from PayPal.
September 12, 2006 11:55 AM -
Figured out I was locked out of my account and sent an email to
PayPal. Received the response seen above the next day.
September 18, 2006 7:45 PM - Sent notes to ebay (sent 2 by accident -
see below for result) and PayPal asking for
confirmation of account locking.
September 20, 2006 - Received this from ebay... At least he
acknowledged that something was up.
Thank you for
writing to eBay's Customer Support. My name is Boris, I
the opportunity to assist you with your concern regarding
I realize the
urgency in this situation. However, please understand that
is affiliated with PayPal we cannot look into your
information related to that account. This is to safeguard the
privacy of our members.
suggest that you contact PayPal Customer Service directly, in
resolve this issue. To reach PayPal Customer Service, log into
and send a secure email through the following Web page:
You can also
contact PayPal Customer Service Representatives by phone,
you for writing eBay. Should you have any other questions,
require further clarification, please do not hesitate to
again. I wish you a prompt resolution to this matter.
September 20, 2006 - And here's the second... even the ebay rep
thought it wasn't real...
Thank you for
contacting us about email solicitations that are falsely
appear to have come from PayPal. The email you reported did not
from PayPal or eBay.
as these are commonly referred to as "spoof" messages, and
are sent in
an attempt to collect sensitive personal information. They
do this by
asking the recipient of the email to reply to the message or
click on a
link to a Web page requesting this information.
We are very
concerned about this problem and are working diligently to
situation. We are currently investigating the source of
to take further action.
We advise you
to be very cautious of email messages that ask you to
information such as your credit card number or your email
Only enter your eBay password on pages that begin with https://signin.ebay.ca/.
If you ever
need to provide information to PayPal, it should only be
done once you
have logged into your account from the PayPal.com
If you have
any doubt about whether an email message is from PayPal,
forward it immediately to email@example.com. Do not respond
or click on
any of the links in the email message. Please do not change
line or edit the email in any way.
entered personal information such as your password, banking
or credit card number into a Web site based on a request
spoofed email, you need to take immediate action to protect your
More information on the steps you should take can be found on
"Protecting Your Identity" Help page. To access this page please
To help you
better protect yourself from fake eBay and PayPal Web sites,
developed a feature for the eBay Toolbar called "Account Guard."
includes an indicator of when you are on an eBay or PayPal
Web site or a
known spoof (or "phishing") site, buttons to report fake
sites, and a password notification feature that warns you when
you may be
entering your eBay password on an unverified site.
To learn more
about the eBay Toolbar with Account Guard go to
www.ebay.ca and click on
"eBay Toolbar" at the bottom of the page
thank you for alerting us to the spoof email you received.
vigilance helps us ensure that PayPal and eBay remain safe and
... still waiting on reply from PayPal.
.... Feb 14, 2007.... well haven't heard from anyone and my account is
still locked out. Guess my eBay days are over.... if I really had
to, I could get my wife to set up a Paypal account (she's got a last
name quite different from mine). But I've been left with a bad
taste from the whole experience.... and have no real interest in