Monday, April 25, 2005

PayPal Annoyance

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I'm annoyed with PayPal.

I probably shouldn't be.

I got an email last week informing me that they have "limited access to your account until additional security measures can be completed". Initially, I took this with a grain of salt, as I get these types of emails fairly often, and they're always "phishing" scams. But this email had no link to click on in it, giving me the impression that this might be legit. So I signed into my PayPal account, and sure enough, I'm on limited access. I can receive money and payments, but I cannot transfer money or make any withdrawals until I update my security information.

The reason given is "unusual activity" on my account, which, to me, the only thing I've been doing differently is I've been using my new PayPal debit card to pay for gas in my car and a couple of other purchases. This is unusual, apparently.

So I go through and start completing the security checks. There are three levels you have to complete. I do the first two easily, stuff like changing your password, answering some security questions like mother's maiden name, last 4 digits of SS# and a couple other things. Then the third step. They want your phone number so they can match it to your home address.

There's the problem. I use Vonage as my home phone number and apparently PayPal can't connect a phone # to a physical street address on a Vonage phone as they would be able to on a regular phone. So I fail that test. What they need to do now is mail me, via snail mail, a 6 digit code to my home address, and when I get that, I can go to the PayPal page, enter it, and hopefully complete my security check. They say it should take 5-7 business days to get that code.

Here's my problems. I'm going on vacation next week...leaving this Friday night. If the code doesn't come before then, I won't be able to use my debit card at all while I'm gone. Second, my other website hosting is bill through my PayPal account. If I haven't validated my account before the 1st, the payment will not go through. I will have to make alternative arrangements...perhaps. I'm planning on switching over my hosting the end of the week to a less expensive, but more full-featured plan. That's all part of a busy week here.

I suppose I should be grateful that PayPal is beefing up security in this manner, but I wish my account didn't have to be basically shut down for a week and half and punish me, even though no security was actually broken.

Thanks to all who participated in the guest blog entry with Tripp Friedler, there were some interesting comments posted.


savvy saver said...

I've been getting these exact same PayPal emails on all my email accounts. There's no link in them, but I know they are a scam because I'm getting them sent to email addresses that I know (and have confirmed) don't have PayPal accounts.

I wouldn't jump through hoops for them, but to be safe, I would remove your checking account links in PayPal, and just use credit cards.

B said...

Well, I know this one was real because when I went and logged onto my PayPal account, I got all the same messages. There are plenty of fake ones going around out there though.

It's a pain.

~Dawn said...

I hope all is well with you, haven't heard from you in a couple of weeks.
Take care

volterwd said...

Should have done all these verificaitons before