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My PayPal Account Was Hijacked

By Anne Haight

On October 15, 2003, my Paypal account was hijacked and became part of a currency laundering scheme of some variety. Large amounts of money were transferred in, converted to other currency types, transferred out, etc. I had nothing to do with any of this.

Paypal noticed, and began immediately reversing the activity. I was alarmed enough that I removed my credit card and bank account connection from my Paypal account, so there was no vulnerablility to me financially. I wanted to close the account, but was not allowed to do so because there were “negative balances” on my account in various foreign currencies. This is only because the transaction reversals were still going on, so I decided to wait until it all settled down.

So today I’m notified that my Paypal account has a negative balance of $109.86 USD, and this is in violation of the Terms of Service agreement. I was asked to please immediately transfer some funds into the account to return the balance to zero.

I hadn’t done anything with that account since October, before all this crap started. I never carry a balance — I do direct transfers from my bank account. There’s no conceivable way that negative balance could possibly be my fault, and now Paypal wants me to pay them $109.86 because they can’t do math correctly?

So I sent them a stern letter through the appropriate channels. I should have asked them to close my account while they were at it.

On December 11, 2003 I got a reply from Paypal asking me to fill out an attached Affidavit and return it to them.

The affidavit in question is a form used to dispute and disavow unauthorized transactions on my account.

There are two problems here.

1. Paypal already knows what the fraudulent transactions are, because they undertook — of their own volition — to notice and reverse them all.

2. This affidavit does not concern the cancellation of my negative balance.

I’m not sure how I’m expected to prove that the negative balance wasn’t there before. I mean, Paypal is the one with access to those logs. Not me.

It also amused me to note that the form only has space for about 6 fraudulent transaction to be filled in. The activity on my account probably amounts to about a hundred of these transactions (I haven’t actually counted) in various currencies.

Once again, they make me do the work.

Posted: May 7, 2012 at 10:35 am

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