Why do I have to complete a security check?
To deliver a secure service, we may ask you to confirm your identity. We do this to make sure it's you, using the PayPal account. We'll also ask if we see new or unusual activity, like a log in from a new device or different location.
At times, we may show you one of several options to confirm your identity:
- Receive a text
- Have us call you
- Confirm some information about yourself
- Answer your security questions
- Confirm your credit card number
- Receive an email
If the security check isn’t successful, we have some troubleshooting tips for you below.
Receive a text
If you don’t receive our text message, you should contact your mobile phone carrier. Ask them to turn on short-code text messaging. Depending on the scenario, we’ll send you one of 2 texts.
We may ask you to confirm your activity (Reply 1 for yes or 2 for no).
Otherwise, we’ll send a 6-digit code, that you’ll need to enter. You’ll see the code in the body of the text. It’s not the PayPal phone number.
This code expires after 5-10 minutes. If your code expires, click Resend, if the option is available.
You might have more than 1 phone number, so click Change to choose which number will receive the text. If your phone number has changed, click Add to enter your current number.
If you see an error, your name or address on PayPal may not have matched your phone billing statement. Our system can’t always match details, causing an error message. For example, if you’re not the primary account holder on a family mobile plan, the details won’t match. Spelling variations, a maiden name, or other mismatches will also cause this error.
If you have another phone number in your name, try adding that number instead.
Have us call you
Our system will call the number on your account. We’ll ask you to confirm certain activities. If you miss this call, choose Have us call you again.
Confirm some info about yourself
You’ll need to answer some questions to verify your identity. These questions come from a public database dating back as far as 20 years. They may be about property, places, or people you know. We don’t save or store the questions or answers in our system.
Answer your security questions
If you choose this option, you’ll need to answer the security questions you’ve chosen since signing up. The questions may be about your friends, employers, or places you’ve lived.
Confirm your card number
We’ll ask you to enter the full credit card number, for a card you use on your PayPal account. If you can't log in, try to add another credit card to your PayPal account.
Receive an email
If you choose to receive an email we’ll send a 6-digit code to the email address you use for PayPal. This code expires after 5-10 minutes. If you missed the timeframe, click Resend. Enter the code on the screen and click Continue. If you don’t see an email, check your spam or junk folder.
If you see a screen like the one below while trying to log in or complete a payment, check your mobile phone for a push notification that asks permission to proceed. Choose the desired option and the screen will automatically take you to the next step.