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Additional Information about Account Limitations

Learn what a limitation is, why an account may be limited and what to do if your account is limited.

What is an Account Limitation?

Account Limitations prevent you from completing certain actions with your account, such as withdrawing, sending, or receiving money. These limitations are implemented when we see unusual or suspicious activity to help protect both PayPal buyers and sellers. Limitations also help us collect information necessary for keeping your account open, and they help ensure our customers are protected.

Let’s take a closer look at limitations by exploring what might prompt them and how they could affect you.

Reasons for Account Limitations

There are a number of reasons why your account could be limited. For instance, if we suspect someone could be using your account without your knowledge, we’ll limit it for your protection and look into the fraudulent activity.

We’ll also limit your account if your debit or credit card issuer alerts us that someone has used your card without your permission. Similarly, if your bank lets us know that there have been unauthorized transfers between your PayPal account and your bank account, your PayPal account will be limited.

In other cases, your account could be limited in order to comply with regulatory requirements. For example, requesting certain products, like a debit card, can trigger federal and state laws, and we may limit your account while we work together to satisfy those requirements.

Your account may also be limited due to PayPal policies we have in place to ensure we’re in compliance with your state’s regulations.

Likewise, if you’re not in compliance with our Acceptable Use Policy, you’ll find that your account has been limited. Selling banned items such as prescription drugs or guns is an example of a violation of the Acceptable Use Policy.

Another reason why your account could be limited is seller performance indicating your account is high risk. For example, receiving an unusually high number of claims and chargebacks from your buyers is an indication of poor seller performance. If you start selling an entirely new type of product, such as a higher-cost item like jewelry, or if your typical sales volume increases rapidly, your account may be limited while we do a review.

How to improve your seller performance

Receiving an elevated number of claims and chargebacks from your buyers is an indication of poor seller performance, which can lead to account limitations. Following some simple guidelines can help you improve your performance and reduce the likelihood of limitations. Overall, communication and information are key.

You should:

  • Provide photos and detailed product descriptions.
  • Be upfront about policies such as shipping and returns.
  • Ship orders promptly and track shipments.
  • Respond quickly to any messages from buyers.
  • Work to amicably resolve any problems.
  • Ship to the address provided in the transaction details page.
  • Use quality shipping materials to prevent damage.

Following these guidelines will help reduce the number of chargebacks, disputes, and unhappy customers, which will in turn reduce the chances of account limitations.

How a Limitation impacts your account

If your account is limited, you’ll most likely be unable to send or withdraw money, and you might find that you can’t accept payments or add money to the account. In most cases, we’ll email you or you’ll see an alert on your Account Overview before a limitation goes into effect. If you log in to PayPal and address this warning when prompted, you may be able to prevent the limitation.

What to do if your account is limited

The requirements for getting the limitation removed and your account restored are usually quite basic; you’ll just need to address the issue with the account, often by providing information to us. If you find that your account has been limited, the best source of information on what you’ll need to do is the email you receive informing you that your account is limited. Also, you should log in to your account for additional details about your situation and how to resolve the limitation. These are the best resources for information specific to your account. Once your account is under review, please watch for and respond to communications from PayPal.

Guard your information to help prevent Account Limitations

One way to protect yourself is to use caution when you’re online. For instance, be especially careful about clicking on links within emails. Fraudsters often develop official-looking emails with links that supposedly lead to a familiar website. They do this in an effort to get you to share personal information.

Reliable institutions won’t ask you to share sensitive personal information this way, so don’t open any attachments or click on any links. If you receive one of these spoof emails from someone pretending to be PayPal, report it by forwarding the email to spoof@paypal.com and we'll investigate it for you. After you send us the email, delete it from your inbox. If you happen to click on any links or open any attachments within the suspicious email or website, log in to your account and check your recent activity. If you see an unauthorized transaction, go to the Resolution Center to report it.

It’s also a good idea to change your password. Select strong passwords for online accounts (including your PayPal account). Passwords should be long and contain a combination of numbers, letters, and symbols. Never share your password with anyone and don’t use the same password for multiple accounts.

Protecting your computer with anti-malware software will also help protect you by keeping viruses and spyware from infecting your machine. Offline, you should shred any personal documents before throwing them away and keep items such as your Social Security card in a safe place (not your wallet) to prevent theft.

If you still have questions about your account access, log in to your PayPal account, click Contact at the bottom of any page, and then click Call us.

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