PayPal freezes or shuts down accounts for no apparent reason

We were recently hit with more than a few instances of PayPal freezing or shutting down accounts. This is often caused by controversial content or links to controversial groups. However, it sometimes takes much less to get on the bad side of PayPal.

Therefore, you should know what to do if you want to retain access to your own PayPal funds. A simple boost in your income could attract the attention to your e-wallet, so be careful.

In short, here are the most important steps you should take to stay under the radar of PayPal and stay in business:

  • Make sure your PayPal account details match those of your bank account and your business if you have one
  • Contact PayPal in advance if you expect your income to increase drastically
  • Make sure to verify your account completely and provide all the account information that you can

Recent Account Freezes and Bans from PayPal

In 2018 alone, PayPal has cut ties with many individuals or groups such as:

  • German-based NGO International Alliance
  • French Pro-BDS organizations
  • ASMR online content creators
  • Infowars

What are the reasons? They vary from supporting terrorist organizations to creating online videos. PayPal was always strict about their views and ideas. So, they have often excluded those acting against the company’s policy.

The first two examples mentioned above are easy to understand. Anti-democratic organizations aren’t something that you’d want to relate to if you want to keep up positive PR.

However, it’s upsetting when your money is frozen just because you’ve achieved financial success or started making online content.

ASMR Content Creator Accounts Frozen

Of course, not all content creators get their PayPal accounts blocked. It depends on the content you create. Obviously, hateful or discriminating texts are a red flag for the popular e-wallet and payments provider.

Yet the difference between black and white is sometimes blurry. This applies to ASMR videos too. ASMR is how we call a tingling sensation triggered by certain visual or auditory stimuli.

So, ASMR videos are designed specifically to cause the sensation. They do so by the sounds of crinkling plastic or whispering, for example. Inherently, there’s nothing wrong with it but some platforms, PayPal included, categorizes it as sexual content.

That’s why PayPal has decided to freeze the accounts of creators of such content. Yet these creators can’t help but feel like victims. The fact that it mostly concerned women creators made it even worse.

But even if you aren’t related to anything like this, your PayPal account could still be in danger.

PayPal Accounts Freezing for No Reason?

Even more, people have experienced trouble with PayPal blocking access to their own funds. Even if you don’t create content that could be deemed as controversial, PayPal may still block you.

In fact, a reason as simple as receiving a lot of income into your account has often led to trouble. Because of this, many people have turned against PayPal after having used it for years.

Unfortunately, it’s often the user’s own fault. All the answers lie in PayPal’s terms of use and policy. However, not everyone pays enough attention to read the T&Cs when joining.

So, there’s always a reason why PayPal accounts are frozen or banned. It just isn’t always the reason that you might agree with…

PayPal Acts According to Its Own Policy

PayPal’s policy is nothing out of the ordinary. They simply take it very seriously, trying to prevent fraud, scam and policy violations. Therefore, the main reasons why people get their accounts shut down or frozen are:

  • Receiving much more income than your average (either in number of transactions or their volume)
  • Creating controversial content
  • If someone files a complaint against you or the number of complaints increases
  • If customers ask for more refunds than usual
  • Your account information doesn’t match your other public information
  • Your PayPal account is outdated or not verified
  • Logging in from suspicious locations or using different IP addresses over time

How to Keep Your Money Safe?

If you’re running a legitimate business and keep your customers happy, you should be safe. However, there has been more than a few instances when merchants got their accounts frozen for up to 6 months anyway.

In that case, there isn’t much you can do, but you can always try to cut the risk. Here’s how you can stay on your payment provider’s good side:

  • Let PayPal know in advance that you’re expecting an increase in income soon
  • Provide PayPal with your contacts, personal and/or business information precisely as it is listed in your bank and business page
  • Provide PayPal with all the information when signing up and verify your account
  • Unfortunately, there’s no way out if you gain your income from content monetization and PayPal doesn’t like the content
  • Be ready to provide various documentation to prove that your business or activity is legit

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