PayPal Permanently Limited Account after The UK Gift Cards *a cautionary tale*

Some context

  1. I've had my personal paypal account for 6 years (got banned 4 days after exactly 6 years)
  2. I have used it extensively for ebay and other things amounting in over 70 - 80k in fee'd transactions
    2.5. preceeding the weekend, i'd sent 950 as F&F to buy ebay GC and 875 as G&S for some stuff.
  3. Over the weekend, when the whole ebay GC thing was going on, i bought a sizeable amount using my secondary paypal account (which i made the retarded move of linking to the same phone number and credit card).
  4. Co-incidentally I sold about $4000+ in 2 items on ebay.
  5. Not wanting to keep a massive balance in my account, i promptly withdrew it after assigning the shipping numbers (can pre-assign by buying the labels online)… anywho, i purposefully withdrew it in 2 lots of 2k as to not trigger the withdrawal limiter thing.
  6. Some mystical god was looking out for me, as i usually let the balane sit for a few days, had i left it in the account for 4 hrs more, i would have had to wait 6 months to get those funds.
  7. 4 hrs later, i get an email on both paypal accounts saying they have detected 'high risk behaviour' and my paypal has been limited until i provide ID documents
    8, I provide passport, utility bill, bank statement.
  8. 1 day later, i get the notice saying it's permanently limited and at this point i was shit scared, as the telephone agent supervisor said any pending withdrawals would bounce.
  9. yesterday, funds cleared, i called my bank and told them to block any paypal withdrawals and only allow credit transactions.

I never really appreciated how debilitatign it is without a paypal account. I can't buy on ebay anymore, as my credit card is linked to my paypal. Ebay Aus still use paypal as their payment processor and as such even when i checkout with the option 'pay with credit/debit card' i gets auto declined due to it being linked to my paypal.

At this point, i really got pissed, as i'm fine with not being able to use paypal, but ebay as well.. So being the pedantic person i am, i read through the whole ebay and paypal user agreement, both fair use policies to determine if i breached any rules. I did not. Only thing i could think of was the anti-money laundering and counter terrirsom financing law, which i guess makes sense when someone buys $6k in ebay gift cards.

I just want to figure out what my options are

——> I've already contacted paypal 'executive escalations' who are suposed to be their legal team about either unlimiting the account or deleting all my personal info (as they have a lot of it which is not comfortable when you can't remove it for quote the call centre person 'indefinitate period of time'.
———>I've also thought about contacting the AFCA, but i don't know what they could do to help.
——-> Also thought about getting my bank to reissue me my credit card, so it has a new number and i can still use it on ebay which is an option

I'd really appreciate some thoughts.

EDIT: I should also mention, about $1500 of the ebay GC's got auto refunded by paypal (luckily i paid with credit card, or that would've been another mess).

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  • Depending on which bank you can simply tell your bank that you've lost your card and they'll send out a new one, and you can use both (ask them to pause it not cancel)

    • I think i'll do this soom, seems like the best option so i can at least use ebay before 2020

      • Some banks allow you to switch between different types of credit cards they are offering without having to apply for another. For example if yours was a Visa you can request for it to be swtiched to a MasterCard etc.

  • Contact Paypal support to see if it can be overturned. If they say no, no amount of OzB will change that. It's their discretion.
    You can still purchase on eBay (and via Paypal as processor) with any credit or debit card. Don't need a Paypal account so get new card issued.

    • Customer support people said they can't and won't do anything further..

      Fun fact, if you even mention any legislature or their terms of service, they stop talking and tell you to contact their legal department lol

      • i tried before hand, to purchase with a card i had linked to my paypal account, even though i am using ebay's system, it still gets blocked as paypal is their payment processor until 2020. So it'll have to be a new card i guess :/
  • An Australian user buying tonnes of foreign gift cards is genuinely risky behaviour.

    • no doubt, i can see why it triggered the AML and CT system

      I tried to explain myself but they didnt seem to care, even after over $3000 in fees to them over the years, i get the feeling it's due to paypal and ebay sharing in the profits on sale of ebay gift cards and don't like getting shorted

    • +1 vote

      They are au gift cards though

  • Honestly, if you're buying that much worth of gift cards, then you're just flagging yourself for money laundering. They have a responsibility to make sure that you are not using their services for money laundering. On top of that, you're buying them from the UK site too. On top of even that, you have multiple accounts. At the end of the day, you might not be breaching any of their policies directly, but what you are doing is highly suspicious from the point of view of an algorithm that doesn't know who you are and why you're doing what you're doing. There's also no denying that you were trying to pull a dodgy with multiple accounts to get around purchasing limits and the like.

    Advice would be to contact PayPal and try to work it out with them. Most likely their algorithms have picked you up and you have some explaining to do.

    I've also thought about contacting the AFCA, but i don't know what they could do to help.

    Nothing. PayPal are not stealing your money. They are under no obligation to provide you with any service.

    • Interestingly, ebay doesn't have any policy surrounding multiple accounts, even if your ebay account gets banned, they allow you to make as many as you want (probably in the hopes of generating seller fees from you).

      And i completely agree, even though i didn't breach any TOS, at the end of the day it's paypal who decdies if they want to do buissness with me or not. But annoys me is, that they can then proceed to hold my financial information, ID (passport, bank statements) etc indefinately even if i don't use their services ever again… that seems ridiculous to me

      • Interestingly, ebay doesn't have any policy surrounding multiple accounts

        You're right. However, to a certain extent. eBay policy states:

        Registering new accounts to avoid buying and selling restrictions or limits, or other policy consequences, is not allowed on eBay

        Which sounds like what you did

        even if your ebay account gets banned, they allow you to make as many as you want

        You can, but it probably wouldn't last for long:

        Please note that in some cases where a member has two accounts and one becomes suspended, their second account may also be subject to restriction.

        That's what I got from their policy. But hope you don't end up in a lot of trouble :)

        • I think that statement is ambigious because technically i haven't breached any of their TOS.

          When i talked with ebay, they didn't care at all, kept reiterating, my problem is with paypal and my main ebay account is not in any disrepute.

          Since I have broken any laws (or even come close to doing so), i'll be fine, it's just a major inconvinence

  • How many GC did you get? I get around 5K but it's fine

    • 6k total, but 1500 were autorefunded so 4500.

      And honestly it wasn't worth it, i'd rather have my paypal account


        I haven't read much of the thread, but can't you just make another ebay & paypal account. I have four paypal accounts and five ebay?

        i gets auto declined due to it being linked to my paypal.

        Again, unlnk the paypal account after removing the default CC. Then create a fresh one.

        No good?

        • Be very careful mate. If i were you, don't let any of the PP accounts have any balance.

          Once an account is limited by paypal they freeze the information contained on that account indefinetly and those details cannot be used to create anyother paypal account.

          Multiple ebay accounts appear to be ok.

  • Tell them you're just an expert ozbargained, not money launderer

    • I tried :(

      they didn't give 2 shits, will have to wait and see what the legal people say when they get back to me (within 45 days lol)

      • Good luck man, seriously I hope it goes ok for you

        • i really regret making a joke, when the service rep asked ' what were you planning on doing with so many gift cards ' my response ' oh, i'm going to buy enloops, their on sale right now' (facepalm).

  • Paypal dont give 2 shits about anyone, they only care about their bottom line, if you mess with that you get the stick. Not much you can do about it.

    • Yeah, i always use to turn my nose up at people who posted about their paypals getting messed with, but now i see it's so easy to happen even when i've given them so much buisness

  • You can definitely get your account back. The back office team will review your account and see the trail. The philo call centre reps don't know much about how Paypal works, it's the american back office team who have more authority and then there is another security/safety team you cannot talk to who have the power (corrupt masons) to undo such bans.

    They would have given you an appeals email to send your case to with a reference? Your 6-year tenure and ID should be enough + your detailed explanation and kiss ass promise not to do it again should work (not that you did anything wrong, their auto-bot picked you up).

    Failing that AFCA may work for sure as they back down immediately from this (but this is usually in relation to funds held), so ensure you do lodge a complaint if all else fails.

    In the absolute worst case you can always create a new account under a phantom name with fresh credit card (change your IP if static, ask your ISP), and never cross-login to the old account under same IP or PC again.

    edit: its your 2.5 section, and cross-linking your secondary acc that got you banned. You need to explain why you have 2 accounts (or deny it and say it was a friends).
    edit2: your luck you withdrew your funds asap and cleared, did they not hold the withdrawal request for 24-72 hours before processing it?

    • create a new account under a phantom name with fresh credit card

      Is this really wise?

    • The uncontactable 'back office' already reviewed my file twice and apparently decided the same thing for a permanent limitation.

      I think it's because of tenure, the system didn't hold my withdrawal request, otherwise i'd really be F'd.

      They already figured out the 2 accounts (i spun it off as, one is my 'buisness' one and other is my 'personal' one which is allowed under paypal user agreement)

      I've considered making another paypal with a completely different IP and card, but i'm just worried a similar thing will happen if i sell anything sizable on ebay, where, this time i don't get lucky and don't withdraw in time

  • Just do a deal with a trusted family member or friend to continue your ventures . If any of the big organizations target you they can manipulate there rules/regulations to any interpretation of there liking .

    • honestly, i don't mind if i can't use paypals, it's an invonvinence at most, what annoys me is they have the capacity to indefinetly hold my personal info… which surely has to be breaching some privacy law

  • Contact afca. They will scare PayPal. Had to do this with PayPal twice, once for a scammer, once for limited account with an incorrect name that they would change. Ombudsman/afca got them into gear both times.

    • how is the afca to deal with? Do they take long? just asking, gauging if i should wait for 'executive escalations' to reply or not

      • They're good to deal with. Simply fill out the online form, and they take it from there. They will give PayPal a certain amount of time to respond before taking further action, in both of my cases PayPal responded before further action was needed (on the very last day they were allowed to on both occasions).

  • As people above have mentioned, firstly send an email to [email protected] and [email protected] (the two emails which AFCA also use to contact PayPal's executive team on behalf of customers). You should receive an auto-acknowledgement reply email from the [email protected] one.

    If that fails or you do not receive a reply after a reasonable amount of time, contact AFCA and lodge a complaint.

    AFCA will only consider your complaint if you have attempted to contact & resolve your issue with PayPal first. So best to do so.

    Keep us updated.

    • Thanks mate, sent email to Auexecutiveescalations and got the auto-acknowledgment

      Lodged with the AFCA, as i called paypal again today and spoke with a 'supervisor' who was extremely obnoxious and rude and adamant that even auescalations couldn't overturn their magical 'back office' decisions. Not only that, but also that i have no right to be able to remove my personal info (i got seriously pissed off when he said this, but made sure i didn't retaliate, just recorded the phone call and ended it with 'i see, thank you for the clarification')

      Will keep you updated :)

  • Seems they're getting smarter about this, I think the gravy train might be ending soon :(

  • get yourself few credit card link with a few paypal account and you should be fine.

  • I would not be creating multiple paypal accounts unless you have burner devices and Sims and addresses. I went through hell when I had multiple and now have 1 business and 1 personal. I stay well clear of the ebay gift card discount hacks to avoid any trouble with both ebay and PayPal

  • I'm thinking those that are offered PP loans play it smart like getting a longer one paying 10-15% of sales minimum every month smashing all the payments in the last month of the term . Surely with that in play they will leave you alone during that period :)

    BTW invest in gift cards lol .

  • $6000 on digital gift cards in one day is too much.

    People should be aware how big the scale of the fraud/stolen credit card purchases happening online.

    Don't complain too much about PayPal limiting how much you can do or you can purchase, it's protecting the customers for a reason.

    Of coursde, banning you permantely is not right and is unfortunate

  • Paypal generally doesn't care the sellers side. Especially you have been permanently limited before.

    You can still make another ebay and paypal using new credit card for buying but I would not suggest to sell anything.

    There are many things that can link your profile, IP, cookies, address, CC number and more so basically it is very hard to hide from the radar. but if you keep your account lowprofile and not selling too much per month then you are generally safe. They know it is you, just don't care.

    My experience: Got 100+ 100% positive feedback sales, been asked by Paypal for doing too good, provided tons of tracking and business info, Paypal said you were too risky, thank you but no service anymore. Now move my ass to Amazon.

    • Yeah after thinking over it for a few days, i'll see if the AFCA can get them to delete all my personal info and not to unlimit my account.

      Just not worth the hassle.

      And i agree with you, Amazon has come to the point where it's on par and better than ebay for buying.

      Just need to wait till 2020 before i start selling on ebay again, which is no biggie :)

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