PayPal closed my account with no explanation. It could happen to you.

Had I been using this account for business, I would be in serious trouble.

Giuseppe Sollazzo
6 min readDec 6, 2017


A few months ago, I did some user testing work for a couple of online firms. One of these used sent me money via PayPal, using my e-mail address. This address wasn’t the address I normally used for PayPal but, as there was no way to convince the firm to cancel and reissue the payment, I accepted the money, triggering the new account to be created [1]. I received some further payments on this account, and transferred the money to my ordinary PayPal account.

On November 8th, I received a new payment. I discovered I could not transfer the money as the account had been “limited”. I messaged support, and they referred me to the appeal procedure to get the account re-activated. I complied with this procedure, sending over a scanned copy of my passport and other documents. This happened at 12:18 PM.

The initial messages about the account limitation

The account was cancelled very quickly

After sending the documents, I didn’t have to wait long. At 1:34 PM, I received the following e-mail, stating that the appeal had been rejected and that the account would be closed. This didn’t prevent me from logging onto the account (to take screenshots), but no transaction was possible.

Appeal refused

Note the short period of time: 12:18 PM to 1:34 PM. The only thing PayPal asked me was to send my documents. This is an odd thing to ask, in hindsight: how could the verification of my identity trigger a rejection of the appeal?

Was there anything suspicious about the account?

“There must be a mistake somewhere”, I kept repeating myself. But I also tried to understand if, effectively, I had done something wrong. I started inspecting my account. This is the full set of transactions:

These are all the transactions in my account