Paypal Locked Me Out Of My Own Account.

And made me jump through hoops to get it back.

(Caution – rant enclosed)Now, I am all for security but these guys took it way too far. First off, I went to log in the other day and they said my account had been restricted and I had to answer a bunch of questions to open it back up. Fine, I did that…and it still did not open the account. So I sent them an email asking why, if I had answered the questions, is my account not available yet? About 7 hours later, I got an email telling me it was not good enough, and now I had to send them a picture of my license or passport, a scan of a utility bill, and answer some more questions. The next 20 minutes was spent digging out my passport, scanning it, converting it into an image and uploading it. Then I had to log into BofA, download a utility bill, convert it into an image, and upload it. Why not send PDF’s? Paypal doesn’t accept them. Nice, guys, thanks for making it easier.

So at this point I was sort of upset, and it took 12 hours after sending them this stuff for them to finally unlock my account. No explanation as to why it was locked, no nothing. And here comes the kicker…I had transfers scheduled out of the account for 2 days ago – which they CANCELED. They did not notify me of this, I had to go in and look at my account to see that over $400 in transfers were recalled. Thankfully they were only to one of my bank accounts, but if it had been to a vendor who knows what would have happened.

Now that my account is unlocked, I have moved every dollar out of the account. I will still use them to send and receive money, as they really are the only company that everyone deals with, but I will no longer be keeping any money at all in the account.

And they still have not told me why they did this, even after another email this morning. Ridiculous. Sorry for the rant, just wanted to get this out there in case some of you keep large amounts of money in your PayPal account, as someday you might not be able to access it – and not be told why. (End rant 🙂)

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Comments (23)

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  1. Emily says:

    I have found paypal and ebay (who I guess are the same now) to have fun randomly shutting people’s stuff down.

    Virgin Mobile has $30 of ours on a prepaid cell phone from 2 years ago that they said we could only get back if we sent copies back and front of our DL and debit cards. We said no way, keep our money.

    So frustrating!

  2. plonkee says:

    This is a timely post as I’m just in the process of transferring as much money as possible out of my paypal account.

    Paypal is the easiest way for me to accept US $ payments, but I’ve now got a business account that pays interest, so there’s certainly no reason to let it stay there. I’ve also found that accessing my paypal account online is a bit temperamental – sometimes it loads, and other times it freezes my browser.

  3. Oh my. Unfortunately, I could have told you a long time ago that if you really insist on using PrayPal, not to keep a balance in it. One of my business partners lost somewhere on the order of $25,000 to them several years ago, and even after suing them and winning, he still hasn’t seen a dime of it.

    DGCs are always a much safer way to do online transactions – provided you pick the right one, anyway!

  4. Pinyo says:

    When I used to be active on eBay, I heard things like this with PayPal — although I never have any problem with them personally. In any case, I never keep more than $100 in that account despite their decent interest rate.

  5. Myrrh says:

    Something Awful is a comedy site that had a Katrina charity fund frozen.

    It’s involved, but you can read about it on their Wiki page.

    Something Awful

  6. Mrs. Micah says:

    Ick. I shall probably do the same to be preemptive. The last thing I want is all my funds frozen. (I was keeping up front blog payments in there and downloading them on the month they were for. But I’d rather have access!)

  7. Angela says:

    I would also be extremely wary of sending PayPal copies of my passport, DL, and debit cards””especially the debit card. It seems unnecessary and potentially dangerous. I know they have my debit card information on file, but I like to limit the number of times I release information about myself like that. I also don’t keep money in my account with them.

  8. david says:

    Oh I am not keeping money there anymore, that’s for sure. But really, there is no alternative to sending/receiving money that everyone accepts. It stinks.

  9. There are plenty of alternatives – GoldMoney and Pecunix are two really good ones that come to mind.

  10. Patrick says:

    Oh. I. Would. Be. Pissed.

    At least you got everything back… Losing $25k is way over the top!

  11. rambkowalczyk says:

    wow, I just did a quick google and discovered that this seems to happen alot. Paypal actually got sued and had to reserve money to pay claims back in 2004. Apparantly their contract says they can freeze money for any reason.

  12. Yeah – they can freeze money for NO reason, too.

    I got lucky – a few years back I sold $750 worth of e-gold to somebody for PayPal, and the buyer reversed the charges on me, saying they never got the product. At the time of the incident, it was shortly after PayPal added a new policy banning that sort of transaction, as they didn’t like the competition. However, I won my case through them and got my money back because the method the buyer used to reverse the charge was for tangible items only, which e-gold is not.

  13. […] Two Dollars – Paypal Locked Me Out Of My Own Account. Ohhh… I would be very upset! I only keep them minimum in my PayPal account. The rest goes […]

  14. david says:

    Yea, they suck. But they have the most customers and they are easy to use (when they don’t lock your money up), so that’s why people use them. As for me, I just will never keep more than a few bucks in my account there!

  15. […] who has a paypal account needs to check out what happened to My Two […]

  16. I have been using Google Checkout to accept payments and they have been great.

    There fees are cheaper to especially on larger payments (2% + $0.20 per transaction)

    eBay won’t ever get on board, but oh well.

  17. My business account remains locked. After jumping through major hoops with them. They authorized a payment on a paypal account with NO funds. I’m pretty much through with them as you are. In my personal account all monies go out as soon as received. Transferred to much safer BOA. I’ll never do real business with the EBAY companies. I posted not long ago about StumbleUpon being an ebay company (I must have been in a black hole when that happened) At anyrate….Paypal blows, Ebay companies by and large are the pits.

  18. […] PayPal claims their terms of service over-ride them “” at paypalsucks.com and screw-paypal.com and here for […]

  19. steve powers says:

    PayPal locked the account out of nowhere, now asking for credit check, bank statement, utility bill, photo id, and more! 9/10 of the people who work there are inconsiderate and condescending. I was researching PayPal alternatives and found that I can use ProPay on eBay, but as I went to sign up, I found that eBay locked my account until PayPal gets what they want. So actually there is no alternative to PayPal because if you don’t agree with what they want, they will lock your entire business, eBay and all.

    Maybe you haven’t had issues with PayPal. Maybe you don’t care about giving your personal information to the world risking identity theft and a potentially totalitarian state. But I assure you, eventually they will lock your account too and ask for the same private information.

    PayPal does not even have a brick and mortar building for me to walk into, why in the world is my photo id necessary? Oh yeah, and today the representative called PayPal a “financial institution” ““ F that, in my eyes they are just a WEBSITE, not a BANK.

  20. El Chefe says:

    Paypal is horrible. The same thing happened to me as far as requiring a valid photo id, social security card, and proof of address…. I submitted all three of these documents and those f*$^#rs decided to permanently lock my account anyways. Same thing happened to my girlfriend as well.

  21. BobyG says:

    They did this to me and it has been 6 months because I am unable to unlock it because I’m not 18 and if I tell them this they will cancel my account and my money will disappear.

  22. Fortune5000 says:

    PayPal along with many other companies who deal with worldwide money exchange have fallen victim to the Homeland Security Act. It has taken on a more aggresive offensive toward companies and individuals who store funds in overseas accounts for any reason at all. I went through the same issues my E-Gold account before I finally found out what the problem was. Even though I have answered al questions and provided all of the necessary documents my account remains locked although the account status shows it is not. I have sent several emails to E-Gold with no response.

  23. F5000, you should’ve kissed your e-gold account goodbye when the federal government took it over, and never supplied all that information to them. It’s not a functioning payment system anymore, all the exchangers have left because even they can’t do business with e-gold, and without exchangers, the system is dead. Oh, and good luck getting physical delivery of your gold from them – nobody has.