Open multiple accounts, get $50,000

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It’s a long time since I opened my PayPal account, but a story on Wired struck a chord with me today.

A Californian man has apparently made $50,000 from opening online accounts. Like PayPal, many companies verifiy your identity (or at least your bank account) by making one or two small deposits, and then asking you to confirm the random amounts you received.

Normally this is pennies, but this gentleman opened some 58,000 accounts netting a small fortune (plus another $8,225.29 from Google Checkout which he’s not yet been prosecuted for). He said he “needed the money to pay off debts and stated that this was one way to earn money”.

Now back to my PayPal account – when I first set up my account rather than deposits PayPal used to make a small charge on your credit card, which was credited to your PayPal account when you made your first purchase. The first time I attempted this the charge failed and some time later I used a second card to verify my account. When I made a payment PayPal true to their word refunded the charges to my account, but for BOTH credit cards on that was charged and one that wasn’t.

So PayPal I’m ‘fessing up – I owe you £1.37 from years ago. 😛


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