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Help prevent limitations

Key Facts

  • Account limitations help us protect users against fraud. One way to avoid fraudsters is to exercise caution when using the Web.
  • In some cases, PayPal implements these limitations to comply with regulatory requirements and they can’t be avoided.
  • Poor seller performance is another issue that can lead to account limitations. Communicating with buyers and keeping them informed will help to avoid performance issues.
  • In order to lift limitations, you need to provide information to PayPal. Start by logging in to your account to get the specifics about why your account has been limited.

Account Limitations: What To Do, and Can They be Avoided?

Account limitations prevent you from completing certain actions with your account such as withdrawing, sending, or receiving money. These limitations are implemented to help protect both buyers and sellers. In some cases, PayPal implements these limitations to comply with federal and state laws and they can’t be avoided. In other cases, account limitations help protect against fraud or could be instituted because of seller performance. With that in mind, let’s take a look at ways you can help avoid these limitations and how to lift limitations already on your account.

Guard your information

As mentioned, account limitations help us protect users against fraud. If we have reason to believe someone is using your account without your permission or if your financial institution alerts us that your debit or credit card is being used without your knowledge, we’ll limit your account to prevent fraudulent activity. Protecting yourself against these types of fraud will help you avoid PayPal limitations.

One way to do this is to exercise caution when using the Web. 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 institution’s website. They do this in an effort to get you to share personal information. Reliable institutions won’t ask you to share sensitive information in this way, so don’t follow the links. It’s a good idea to report these types of emails to the mimicked company. If you receive one of these spoof emails from someone pretending to be PayPal, report it by forwarding the email to spoof@paypal.com.

Elsewhere, use strong passwords for online accounts (including your PayPal account). Passwords should be long and contain a combination of numbers, letters, and symbols. Once you have a strong password, don’t share it with others, and don’t cut corners by using the same password for multiple accounts. Mix it up to guard yourself.

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 physical theft.

Regulatory compliance and Acceptable Use Policy

Your account could be limited in order to comply with federal and state laws. For example, adding a debit card to your account could trigger a limitation due to the CIP (Customer Identification Program) check that is done as part of federal law.

You should also ensure that items you sell are in compliance with PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy. For example, PayPal doesn’t allow the sale of guns or prescription drugs.

Improve 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.

What to do about limitations

In order to lift limitations, you need to provide information to PayPal. Start by reviewing the email we sent to you informing you that your account was limited and logging in to your account to get the specifics about why your account has been limited. Take a look at the details about the limitation and provide any requested information quickly. Once you’ve done this, PayPal will review the information and will usually respond within 24 to 72 hours. If we request more information, continue to respond promptly to speed up the resolution process. And sometimes the limitations can even be lifted without a review. For instance, you may simply need to change your security question and password. In either case, log into your account for details.