PayPal Revisited

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Forum topic by CharlieM1958 posted 05-02-2008 03:26 PM 1557 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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16274 posts in 4215 days

05-02-2008 03:26 PM

After expressing my satisfaction with PayPal in the recent forum topic about it, I must have jinxed myself somehow. I had a very disturbing experience yesterday, and would like to know if anyone has experienced anything similar.

My last PayPal transaction was a small donation to this site I made on 4/28. The transaction went smoothly, with no problems whatsoever. Yesterday afternoon I was attempting to pay for 2 eBay purchases, and discovered my account had been frozen due to “suspicious activity” on my credit card. I immediately logged on to my credit card account, and there was nothing remotely resembling suspicious activity.

Next, I began to follow PayPal’s online instructions to get the freeze off my account, and discovered that all I needed to do was give them my checking account information! I immediately got on the phone with PayPal to see what was going on. The rep told me again that my account had been frozen for suspicious activity on my credit card. I told him there was no such activity, and that I would like my account unfrozen without giving them my personal banking information. I was told he would have to turn it over to the account review department, and maybe they would decide to do that.

What I find most disturbing is that, reading between the lines here, it appears that PayPal concocted the “suspicious activity” story in order to get my banking info. Their web page to enter the info states that your bank account will become your default payment method unless you change it. Of course if they draft my checking account directly, they don’t have to pay the fee charged by the credit card company, and their profits are increased!

So do I sound like a kooky conspiracy theorist, or has anyone else had an experience like this?

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

27 replies so far

View odie's profile


1691 posts in 3837 days

#1 posted 05-02-2008 04:10 PM

I opened an account with them, and have felt uneasy about it ever since. Thanks for reafirming my fears.

-- Odie, Confucius say, "He who laughs at one's self is BUTT of joke". (my funny blog)

View MrWoody's profile


321 posts in 3771 days

#2 posted 05-02-2008 04:25 PM

Thank you Charlie. I have never used Pay Pal because I feel they require much more information than I think they actually need. Having said that I was going to open an account to make a donation to the site and the information thing scared me away, again. I won’t be opening a Pay Pal account under any circumstances.
Ya, I would give them my personal banking information…...... NOT !

-- If we learn from our mistakes, I'm getting a fantastic education.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4215 days

#3 posted 05-02-2008 05:02 PM

I didn’t really have a problem with them having my credit card info. I figured it is better than giving it out to every Tom, Dick, and Harry. Anyway, losses from fraudulent use of credit cards is limited by law to a small amount. No such limitations apply if my banking info falls into the wrong hands.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Mark E.'s profile

Mark E.

387 posts in 3739 days

#4 posted 05-02-2008 05:09 PM

I have used PayPal for many years with no problems.

They do, however, have some policies that I don’t really like. I sell items on EBAY and when the items get paid for, that money usually goes into my PayPal account. If I then buy an item on EBAY (or make any PayPal purchase, really) and pay for that item using PayPal, they will always force me to use any money in the account before I can use my credit card. So, unless my PayPal balance is zero, I cannot use my credit card to pay for purchases paid for through PayPal.

There is an easy way around this. As soon as I have any money in my PayPal account, I simply transfer that money to my savings account, bringing my PayPal balance back to zero.

Another little gotcha with PayPal. The PayPal service is basically free, unless you want to be able to let people pay you with a credit card. Then you have to upgrade your PayPal account. At that point you are charged a fee for every payment you receive, whether the person paying you uses a credit card or not.

I guess they have to make money somehow, but some of their practices seem to be a little disturbing.

-- Mark

View mrtrim's profile


1696 posts in 3877 days

#5 posted 05-02-2008 11:32 PM

i blame charlie for any and all rpoblems with pay pal ! lol

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14172 posts in 3980 days

#6 posted 05-03-2008 02:13 AM

been using paypal since inception. never had a problem. i use an old checking account in Tennessee for bank info for paypal … works with no real risk.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Don Niermann  's profile

Don Niermann

219 posts in 3969 days

#7 posted 05-03-2008 03:01 AM

When you get a message from paypal? requesting info forward the message to You will find they did not send the orig msg.

-- WOOD/DON ( has the right to ones opinion but not the right to ones own facts...)

View Ad Marketing Guy - Bill's profile

Ad Marketing Guy - Bill

314 posts in 3795 days

#8 posted 05-03-2008 03:44 AM


Did you receive the notice via an Email ? You must be constantly on the lookout for phishing scams:

This is not only a paypal issue, it may come from your “bank”, your “credit card” company, etc——it is a scam. Any reputable institution will never ask you for information via email. The mail may look quite official but it is a scam and you are redirected to a site that will mirror your keystrokes——it is a form of indentity theft! It redirects Paypal can freeze your Paypal account NOT your bank account… bet is to call your bank and credit card company.

Again, make certain you have anti-phishing software installed on your computer McAfee

-- Bill - - Ad-Marketing Guy, Ramsey NJ

View SST's profile


790 posts in 4192 days

#9 posted 05-03-2008 04:14 AM

I agree, Charlie. This was probably not a paypal issue. Any time you get any communication about paypal (or ebay, if you have an account there) always forward it to either or They will tell you if the e-mail in question is genuine. Never click on a link in those mails unless you’re certain it is the real thing.

I’m in the identity theft business (no, I don’t steal them, I protect them) and you wouldn’t believe how much of that stuff is going on. There was a time when it was relatively easy to distinguish the fraudulent e-mails from reputable places, but the crooks are getting very good.

If you gave out any info, it might be a good idea to monitor your credit report for a while, as that’s where evidence of identity theft usually shows up first. I don’t want to get off on a long non-woodworking tangent, this isn’t the place for that here, but if you want to send me a private message, I’ll be glad to give you more info.-SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4215 days

#10 posted 05-03-2008 04:48 AM

Oh no guys….I’m well aware of the phishing scams. This was totally legit…at least legit in the sense that Paypal is behind it. There was no email. I didn’t know there was a problem until I tried to pay for an eBay item and found out my PayPal account had been limited. I verified it by logging on to my account, and through telephone call to their resolution department. When I told the operator I didn’t want to give my checking information, he said it would have to be submitted for review. Sure enough, if I log onto my account right know it shows up as being under review.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 3889 days

#11 posted 05-03-2008 05:52 AM

I have both a Paypal premier business account for the craft business and a full blown merchant account for my primary business. I have had no problems with Paypal but occasionaly have stupid problems with my bank merchant account. A regular bank merchant account will suspend or freeze the account if you have no activity for a couple of months requiring you to call and jump through hoops to get it re-activated. I have also had the merchant account canceled and $500 taken from my business account as a cancellation fee because I went 10 months with no activity. It took three months to get the money back, but not before I threatened to kick everybody’s a** at the bank. I can’t help it if customers write checks instead of using credit cards.

There is always a lot of Paypal trashing all over the Internet, but go try to get a regular merchant account. You think Paypal is nosey? It’s like applying for a home mortgage, plus you need a stellar credit rating. Paypal is just trying to ensure they protect themselves from too much fraud. It is still one of the best avenues for the average crafts person because you don’t apply but sign up with very little information given. If you are selling, you have to link it to a checking account so you have a way to transfer funds out of Paypal. Just do like Mark E said, transfer money from Paypal to a checking account, then move that money somewhere else. A lot of people do this. Now if a customer requests a charge back and there is no money in your Paypal account or linked checking account to recover the chargeback, Paypal will freeze the account until everything is resolved.

I really like the ability to send an email invoice to customers so they can pay through Paypal. I also don’t have the responsiblity of protecting a customer’s credit card number since I don’t see it when the customer uses Paypal.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4215 days

#12 posted 05-03-2008 03:12 PM

As I said, I’ve never had a problem before, but this really has me angry! There is no evidence of a problem with my credit card, they can’t tell me what “suspicious activity” their system detected, and the “only” thing they want to “fix” the problem is my checking account number. Hell, I’ll give them another credit card if they want, but at Steve Martin would say “But Nooooooooooooooooooo!”

There is no problem, PayPal. I just want my account unfrozen without giving up my bank info, which, by the way, we’ve had a successful relationship without you having for several years! <<<<steam>>>>>

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Virgil's profile


7 posts in 3675 days

#13 posted 05-04-2008 06:55 PM

I went through this a couple of years ago with PayPal. I was even banned from eBay. For what, I don’t have a clue. I closed the PayPal account and I don’t mess with eBay anymore. I have recieved emails about my PayPal account up to 18 months after I closed my account. Nothing to do with all of this but I ahve changed internet providers, so many I can start over, but no PayPal.

-- If you don't make mistakes, your not trying!

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4215 days

#14 posted 05-04-2008 06:59 PM

Well, I made an end run…. I just opened up a NEW PayPal account with a different credit card so I could pay for the eBay items awaiting payment. As soon as PayPal straightens things out, I’ll close one account. You would not think they’d make it that difficult.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View dalec's profile


612 posts in 3885 days

#15 posted 05-04-2008 08:24 PM


Glad you found a work around.

I like a number of others have a separate bank account for internet transactions that has limited funds in it or just enough for a specific transaction.


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