PayPal think I’m not a real person

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Following on from last week’s request from PayPal for additional verification, to comply with EU law, they’ve now decided my name is not my name.

Addressing me by email with my PayPal registered name “Chris Dawson”, they say “After reviewing your PayPal account, we noticed that the registered name is not an individual, personal contact name. Please note that at least one of your first names as stated on your passport/driver’s licence needs to be registered in full on your PayPal account. Therefore we ask you to complete a name change.

I’m not sure what I should change my name to, but it needs to match the documents I provided as proof of identity. The trouble is different companies address me in different ways and none of them match the “Christopher Ian Dawson” which is on my Passport and drivers licence – The passport alone isn’t sufficient evidence that I exist, PayPal also want a matching proof of address.

My phone bill and utility bills are addressed to “C Dawson” and my bank statements go to “Mr C I Dawson”. I have a couple of other documents which PayPal don’t accept (VAT Registration, Mobile Phone Bill) with “Chris Dawson”, but I don’t have a single acceptable proof of address with my full name on them.

I was on the phone to PayPal this morning and they’ve told me that the compliance team don’t accept incoming phone calls but that they do need a proof of address in my “real name”. I pleaded my case with the PayPal rep I was talking to and just have to cross my fingers that the compliance team will let me keep my name. If not I’ll let you know if I have to become “‘C’, formerly known as Chris”.

If you’re also having trouble providing the proof of ID that PayPal require let us know in comments below.

43 Responses

  1. I attempted to regsiter for a PayPal Top-up card a few months back. I was informed that my address and identity couldn’t be verified. I was told, when I called, this would be because I’m not on the electoral roll.

    This opened up another issue, I told them. I had only voted the week before, so I must surely be guilty of electoral fraud. 😉

    Seeing as I cannot send them proof of ID and address by mail/fax etc, I don’t have the card, which would be a handy thing

  2. Chris, can I ask, is it a Premier or Business account you have with PayPal? I’ve had a Premier and looked at upgrading to a “business” account some while back and unless you need the extra muliple user facilities there’s no difference. I didn’t think it worth the effort after all these years as there’s just me.

  3. I think I’ve told you before Chris, ‘You’re not real’ :p

    I may have the same problem though being as I don’t have ID anymore.

  4. Chris,
    You’re not alone !! We seem to be going through a few hoops to get several PayPal accounts verified and re-verified ….and then verified just one last time …to be sure, to be sure !!…what a pain.


  5. I haven’t had to do this yet. I have a premier and a business account. I have no passport and my driving license is registered to a different address, and like you all my bills come in to different names. I can see this will get very messy.

    Thing is – how do they know if I have stolen someones identity, I mean they don’t know what I look like, I could have stolen a passport and set up a utilities account in that name to my address

  6. we are a limited company registered at company house
    you would not believe the bother were having[though then again you might just],
    registering our company number and email with paypal.
    our company number is quite clear on the company house website paypal have even gave us the link so we can find it ,when we try and enter it they say it is not valid

  7. I have this morning had my paypal balance returned to “on hold” for 21 days at a time, or until Positive feedback left. Reason given – so Paypal can make sure of buyer satisfaction blah blah blah… wouldn’t mind if I was a newbie, but I’ve had the Paypal account for over 4 years and my ebay account has over 1000 100% positive feedback over a 4 year period too.

  8. They cant read the documents I have faxed twice and wont provide a postal address. Dont have a scanner and dont want one

    They have issued instructions on how to change the name on the account but not said why that is necessary

  9. Hi by accident my last name is missing a letter and i am unsure how to correct it without having all funds tied up any advice Chris (be you real or not) or anyone please?

    As i am about to open a website and dont want loads of hassle if i use paypal as my ‘basket’ or ‘trolley’ or whatever its called.
    Any advice i have been reading your latest posts with interest
    Thanks so much

  10. I might be wrong but I think you need to have a business account to use PayPal Express Checkout on your website. I’m pretty sure this is the only reason I upgraded to a business account.

    I’ve not had quite the same issue but when I was on holiday a few years back I forgot to pay my eBay seller fees and eBay tried to take it from my PayPal balance but couldn’t, so they tried to take it from my bank account. Because I have a personal bank account attached to my PayPal account they tried to take it from my bank, but using my business name instead of my personal name, and the bank rejected the payment request. As a result PayPal removed my bank account from my profile and it’s still showing as ‘unverified’ but I can’t verify it as it tells me it’s already been through the verification process.

    Brewery tour, anyone?

  11. Northumbrian: I had the same problem updating my company number, I called paypal and they changed it for me.

    It seems there should be a Zero placed before the registered business number.

    Only paypal can change it, which is a bit daft, but they say it’s a bug.

    Hope that helps :O)

  12. Well PayPal appear to have taken it upon themselves to change my name (without me requesting them to) and closed the enquiry telling me it’s complete!

    They now send me emails to “Christopher Dawson” instead of “Chris Dawson”.

    To be honest in my opinion it’s a total waste of time and resource by PayPal to comply with some bureaucratic EU twaddle that’ll make no difference whatsoever. I mean if I go around calling myself “Chris” instead of “Christopher” do you think it’ll fool anyone into thinking I’m two different people? 😀

  13. I’ve got my name back!!!!

    After being known as “Christopher Dawson” for 24 hours I telephoned business support on an unrelated matter and at the end of the call they asked if there was anything else they could help with. I said yes I was unhappy with my name change so they said no problems and swapped it back to Chris Dawson 😀

    Kind of makes a mockery of the whole id verification thing though!

  14. This is all making a mountain out of a moll hill. PayPal is basically a bank, so they have do these checks.

  15. They do indeed have to do identity checks, but they are not barred from doing so intelligently.

  16. I’ve had my co & vat number and all info in for a couple of years. Seems this is fine, as I have had no request to change, although a week or so I had a call from pp informing me of the verification checks!

  17. James

    we dont mind paypal asking for details and information ,we will provide any information they are entitled to,
    its paypal not accepting that information, and the waste of time and effort that annoys us


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