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Paypal Exploitation?

  1. Sep 24, 2012 #1
    I opened a Paypal account on behalf of my sister in Australia 1 year back. I have had several online transaction with the account. But recently, Paypal asked me to confirm my identity. I uploaded by sisters drivers licence; but it would also require any of the following

    1.Utility Bill e.g. Electricity, Gas, Water, Landline phone bill (issued within the last three months);
    2.Notice of Council Rates (issued within the last three months);
    3.Tax Assessment provided by the Australian Taxation Office (issued within the last twelve months); or
    4.A Centrelink Statement (issued within the last twelve months).
    Since she lived on rent; she din't have utility bills.

    Her No. 2 document was more than 3 months old and No. 4 was also more than 12 months. A recent document was on way, but it wasn't available by that time.

    We tried giving mobile phone bills to confirm address but it was rejected.
    After getting bored and because the account just had ~10$ we simply dropped out; and Paypal seized our money.

    My main issue here is if Paypal required those documents why didn't it ask before hand (when I was creating the account); Feels like it waited till I have money on my account and then brought up the issue. Further during the ~20 days account freeze period, It told me that -"I could add money but not remove it".
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 24, 2012 #2
    It sounds like phishing to me. Someone pretending to be paypal tricked you into giving them enough information to take $10 out of your account. Probably you should close the account if you still can.
     
  4. Sep 24, 2012 #3

    phinds

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    Doesn't sound at all like PayPal to me.
     
  5. Sep 24, 2012 #4

    AlephZero

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    Did you have to send the documents to an address in Nigeria? :biggrin:

    I agree this all sounds a bit "phishy". If that is the case, the $10 you lost is the least of your worries, If you gave them enough information to steal your identity.
     
  6. Sep 24, 2012 #5
    Yep, sounds exactly like phishing to me. Basically you've been duped by a fake paypal website/email address.

    You need to be more careful in the future, if they got ahold of your bank accounts or credit card info you could have lost a lot more then $10.
     
  7. Sep 24, 2012 #6

    jtbell

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    If you're not in Australia, but you're in effect claiming to be in Australia, I wouldn't be surprised if Paypal were suspicious about it.
     
  8. Sep 24, 2012 #7

    AlephZero

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    It's obviously OK to "help" somebody open an account if they aren't very computer literate, but what you said in the OP does seem rather close to you impersonating somebody else.

    When I opened an account (several years ago) they certainly did some automated checks (e.g. to verify that I could physically take a call on the landline phone number I gave them) but nothing involving ID documents.

    But phishing emails along the lines of
    are quite common. In fact I sometimes get them purportedly from banks where I don't have an account at all!

    Genuine emails from PayPal always include your full name, not "Dear Customer". And if you aren't sure, there is an option on the PayPal website to send them a copy of the email and check if it was genuine.
     
  9. Sep 24, 2012 #8

    dlgoff

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    Exactly. :wink:
     
  10. Sep 24, 2012 #9

    jtbell

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    Yes, that's what my somewhat "inartful" statement was meant to convey. If the account belongs to someone in Australia but all the contacts for setup etc. come from an IP address in another country, I would be suspicious of it if I were at Paypal.
     
  11. Sep 24, 2012 #10
    OMG, so many people suspecting fake emails. Its not. When I opened up Paypal, the request was right on my paypal account.
    I don't have problem with paypal requesting infos, but I thought It should have requested it beforehand; at the time of account creation when I didn't have any money in my account. And add to that a time frame of only ~20 days to get documents ready. And further strict criteria's for document. (Not accepting mobile phone bills instead of land-line bills).

    Ideally, Am I not allowed to open account for my sister?
     
  12. Sep 25, 2012 #11

    f95toli

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    This is no difference than you bank checking up on you, some of your activites have obviously triggered the automated alarms at Paypal (e.g. claiming to live in Australia but always logging on from somewhere else).

    And no, you are most definitly NOT allowed to open a Paypal account on behalf of someone else anymore than you are allowed to open a "normal" bankacount in someone elses name (and yes I now that latter IS in principle possible, but only if you have a lot of written documentation)
     
  13. Sep 25, 2012 #12
    How do you explain the missing $10?
     
  14. Sep 25, 2012 #13

    AlephZero

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    A mobile phone isn't worth much for ID purposes. You could have bought or stolen it from anywhere in the world. On the other hand a land line goes to a fixed address. The fact that the phone company installed the landline shows the address is real, not just something you made up. It's possible to cross check other databases that show who lives there - and if all else fails, you can send somebody to knock on the door.
     
  15. Sep 25, 2012 #14
    Sorry for the misunderstanding;
    The account was seized and so was the money it had.
     
  16. Sep 25, 2012 #15

    Evo

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    Where is your sister in all of this?
     
  17. Sep 25, 2012 #16
    She is constantly in contact with me from Australia. I uploaded (helped her upload) her documents. But she didn't have all the necessary documents; atleast not at that time; she has them now.

    Sorry people I made a wrong statement (not intentionally). Although Paypal did gave us 'time' limit to upload documents, It hasn't completely sealed the account yet. (I never re-logined the account until yesterday, because I thought the account was already sealed after the time limit)

    So It is still possible to revive the account; but this time more process needs to be completed and one of them involves -"my sister going to Australian Post office and confirming her identity in person there". Now that there is no time limit, we can take our time.

    So, clearly Paypal isn't trying to engulf our money, but on the contrary trying to protect it.
    Thank you people. (It is you who made me re-login my supposedly dead account to check things again :))
     
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