PayPal Anti-Spam Policy

We are committed to providing an instant and secure payment service. Part of our service to customers is to protect them from unsolicited email. This is something we feel strongly about, because one of our roles is to shield users from such nuisance. As a PayPal user, you too can help make the internet a more rewarding experience for all users.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is spam?

Why is spam unethical?

How can I help stop spam?

What is your anti-spam policy?

Is sending unsolicited email still considered spam if I pay the recipients?

How do I report spammers?

Will my account balance be confiscated if my account privileges are revoked?

Will I lose my Merchant Referral Bonus if one of my referrals turns out to be a spammer?

What is the proper way to make referrals?


What is spam?
Spam, including unsolicited commercial email, unsolicited bulk email, mass email, and junk email, is a message that advertises goods or services that you send to someone without their prior consent or in the absence of a previous relationship. In one respect spam is the electronic equivalent of the junk mail you receive in your postal mailbox every day.

There are three main types of spam: Usenet, message board, and email. Usenet and message board spam are messages sent or posted which are unrelated to the topic of discussion of the particular news group or message board. Email spam is any electronic mail message that is addressed to a recipient with whom the initiator does not have an existing business or personal relationship or is not sent at the request of, or with the express consent of, the recipient.

There are other types of internet abuse that qualify as spam. These include, but are not limited to, spamming of chat rooms and spamming via internet relay chat or "instant messaging" systems (such as ICQ).

For more information on spam visit:
Junk Email
This collaboration between the Center for Democracy and Technology and the Voters Telecommunications Watch offers background on the issues involved, an FAQ, tips on spotting and preventing fraud, legal resources, and a "scamspam" questionnaire you can fill out if you've been a victim.

The Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email
CAUCE is a volunteer group of internet users who are dedicated to fighting junk email and have formed a coalition to promote legislation that would outlaw unsolicited commercial email.

Why is spam unethical?
We all get junk mail at home. It's an accepted fact of life. So why is spam unethical? Unlike the junk mail you receive in your snail mailbox, electronic junk mail costs the recipients more time and money than it costs the sender. It takes time to download, sort through, and identify junk mail, and then discard it. If you pay for internet access by the hour or minute, then sorting through spam messages leads to increased time online, which translates into higher monthly bills for you.

Spam can slow the performance of the internet. Large volumes of spam have been known to slow down email delivery for hours or even days, and it sometimes causes computers connected to the internet to crash.

Spamming is considered rude. Conduct on the internet is governed by an unwritten set of rules called netiquette, and one of those rules is that it's not acceptable to send out unsolicited mass emails.

How can I help stop spam?
There are several steps you can take to help reduce spam:

  1. Do not spam!
  2. Do not respond to spam.
  3. If you receive spam, delete it unread.
  4. Join CAUCE, The Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email, and find out how you can become an anti-spam advocate.


What is your anti-spam policy?
PayPal's referral program is meant to encourage people to introduce the benefits of PayPal to their friends and family, and to people they transact with online. It is not intended to encourage spam. You may post your referral link online in any place deemed appropriate by the owners of the website where you are posting. However, anyone who is found to have spammed other internet users in an attempt to gain referral bonuses will lose their PayPal account privileges.

Is sending unsolicited email still considered spam if I pay the recipients?
Yes.

How do I report spammers?
If you feel that a PayPal user has spammed you, please contact us using this form. Be sure to include a copy of the email with full message headers or usenet message. Also include any other information that can be used to identify the parties involved.

Will my account balance be confiscated if my account privileges are revoked?
Any referral bonuses that you have acquired will be confiscated up to the balance of your account. Any monies that remain in your account after we confiscate your bonuses will be sent back to you via a personal check from PayPal.

Will I lose my Merchant Referral Bonus if one of my referrals turns out to be a spammer?
No. We will not penalize you for the irresponsible behavior of another PayPal user. If one of your referrals turns out to be a spammer, their account will be terminated. However, you may keep the referral bonus for that individual.

What is the proper way to make referrals?
We created our referral bonus program to reward our customers for introducing the benefits of a PayPal Business or Premier account to their friends and family, and to people they transact with online. Below are some ideas on how you can take advantage of our offer.

Who should I tell?
Anyone you think would benefit from using our payment service for non-eBay Business or Premier account transactions. Please use our referral program responsibly. We strictly enforce our Anti-Spam Policy!

How should I tell them?
Each time a new merchant signs up for a PayPal Business or Premier account via the link or banner that you provide, you'll be eligible for a Merchant Referral Bonus. Your referral bonus is tied to the amount the merchant receives via PayPal's Website Payment Tools or Send Money. You can find out more information on how to earn a referral bonus on our Merchant Referral Bonus page.

But please, no spamming. PayPal strictly enforces its Anti-Spam Policy!