A PayPal Mystery


Update from my reader, the small software vendor:

“Mystery solved. The first chargeback came through today for one of the first purchases (June 8th). PayPal opened a claim regarding that purchase with the following: “The buyer stated that they did not authorize this purchase.” Oddly enough, the email associated with the claim is still the same fake email (by fake, I mean it doesn’t exist). So it seems they were just using my order form to test stolen credit cards.
“I spent 35 minutes on hold with PayPal, was handed off three times, but finally spoke with a person who seemed to know what was up. I told her there were 19 more […]

Where the money is… or was

fedcheckToday was Tax Day in the United States, when we file our federal income tax returns. This has been an odd tax season in America for reasons that aren’t at all clear, but I am developing a theory that cybersecurity failures may shortly bring certain aspects of the U.S. economy to its knees.

I have been writing about data security and hacking and malware and identity theft since the late 1990s. It is a raft of problems that taken together amount to tens of billions of dollars each year in lost funds, defensive IT spending, and law enforcement expenditures. Now with a 2014 U.S. Gross Domestic Product of $17.42 trillion, a few […]

Stop sending me pennies — more bad news for PayPal

paypal1I got a call this week from PayPal Executive Escalation, which I didn’t even know existed and certainly wouldn’t have guessed would be based in Omaha, Nebraska. This was either in response to my PayPal account being restricted as I described in my last column or — much more likely — to the simple fact that I’d made such a stink about it in print. The guy who called was very polite and helpful, too, but what I learned was also disturbing enough that I feel the need to share it with you.

“Do you use an anonymizer?” asked the guy from PayPal. I don’t use an anonymizer, which masks IP addresses, and told […]

We’re PayPal immortals whether we like it or not


Update #2 — After a few hundred people had their penny payments to me bounce, PayPal mysteriously freed my account yesterday. Since then dollars and dollars have poured-in, all to be refunded next week, I promise. So please stop sending me money now, okay? Mission accomplished.

My favorite transfer by far was this one for a $0.01 eCheck (below), which I will make every effort to refund before I receive it, thanks:

Screen Shot 2013-04-11 at 10.09.04 AM


Have you ever canceled a PayPal account? I tried to cancel mine today and the company wouldn’t let me.

In one sense it’s hard to imagine why anyone would want to cancel […]

Prediction 6: Thompson's no Yahoo

Let me be clear about this just in case my clever headline makes no sense: I think the Yahoo board punted by hiring Scott Thompson, who is either a stooge for Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang or a convenient placeholder until the company can be sold.

I have nothing against Thompson, who did an able, if very vanilla, job at PayPal, but there is nothing — nothing — that distinguishes him as a new media executive. With a wildly dysfunctional outfit like Yahoo, he’ll be in over his head from the first day. I hope for his sake there’s a golden parachute rip cord available for pulling.

His best hope — and it isn’t much of a hope […]