Feeds

PayPal freezes out British user in 'terror' list snafu

To verify you are not a terrorist, fax this number...

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

PayPal has frozen Brit Mohammed Hassan's account and banned him from using the service if he refuses to fax the company a raft of personal information.

The online payments service told him his name is "similar to or a match to" a name on the US government's anti-terror assets freezing list.

The Office of Foreign Assets Control Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN) is operated by the US Treasury and designed to prevent money laundering and funding of illegal organisations.

The SDN list is here (.pdf). It contains hundreds of names, including Osama Bin Laden and a Tunisian named Mohamed Hassan.

Register reader Mohammed received the following email last week:

Access to your PayPal account has been denied because your name is similar to or a match to an entry on the Office of Foreign Assets Control Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list. We are required to further verify your identity. In order to regain access to your account, please provide the following documentation:

1. A copy of government-issued photograph identification (i.e. passport, driver's license).

2. A copy of a utility bill verifying your address

3. A copy of a document verifying your date and place of birth.

Please fax the information to +1 303-395-2802, Attention: Compliance. The documents may also be mailed to the following address:

PayPal, Attention: Compliance P.O. Box 45950 Omaha, NE 68145, United States

Please provide the requested information within the next 30 days. If this information is not received within the next 30 days, your PayPal account will be closed.

We contacted PayPal with a series of questions. They confirmed that in Mohammed Hassan's case, his account will be closed unless he faxes his passport to them - action he told us he is not willing to take on priniciple. Unlike banks, PayPal does not require identity verification to set up an account.

PayPal refused to provide any details of how many customers the bans are affecting, or whether the policy had led to any genuine terrorist assets being seized.

Mohammed works for the UK government, in a job which requires security clearance. He said: "I am not a terrorist or a criminal. How the hell can PayPal link me to that name on the SDN list, is it because my name is Arabic? Or is it because PayPal are just plain stupid?" ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years
Man jailed for dodgy cinema recording of Hollywood movie
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?