PayPal, Terrorists and Dirty Underwear

If you are involved in terrorism or laundering, PayPal is no longer the place for you. But will you be affected anyway?

If you are a terrorist or a launderer (of money not dirty underwear), then it wasn't me and I'm broke. Oh and PayPal doesn't want you anymore

In order to comply with Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing laws, PayPal have taken some pretty drastic measures. PayPal accounts are now being reviewed and depending on the findings, further documentation and information may be required.

What this means is that until you provide such documentation, some functionality within your PayPal account is restricted:

  1. Sending Money;
  2. Withdrawing Funds;
  3. Receiving Money;
  4. Closing your Account;

Which pretty much covers anything you would want or need to do with PayPal, rendering your account as useful as a chocolate fireguard - though not as tasty.

I'm guessing that most people reading this have nothing to do with terrorism but the reality is that you may still be affected.

Twice in the last 2 weeks I have come across people who have had their account restricted while awaiting verification.

One lives with his family still and has no bills sent to his address in his own name, so proving his physical location is difficult.

The other operates under a Trust business structure which apparently PayPal is not accepting of, so they are also having difficulties getting their PayPal account functioning properly again.

Because the restriction happens instantly, any funds that are in the PayPal account cannot be withdrawn, potenitally locking a lot of money in limbo - and no doubt generating a healthy amount of interest for PayPal.

How can you avoid disruption then? While it's not a guarantee, you can submit documents in advance it seems. PayPal state:

The types of documents we request will vary depending on the nature of the account activity or business operation, and the structure of your organisation. To find out what documents you need to submit, please log in to your PayPal account and visit the Resolution Centre. There you will see the documents we require and how you can submit them.
During the course of the review we may email you asking for additional information. The list of documents we need you to submit may also be added to during the review, even after you have submitted documentation, so please check the Resolution Centre regularly.

For more information, have a look at PayPal's website:

Have you been reviewed yet? How did you find the process?