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  1. #1
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    Why does PayPal want an Social Security Number?

    What can PayPal find out about you if you give them your SSN and why do they want it?

  2. #2
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    Credit report?

  3. #3
    Anything they want if someone wants to be malicious, but theres only a few ways to get info like that, and those are monitored heavily because of the potential for abuse.

  4. #4
    So they can report your PayPal income to the IRS.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/12/te...erland&emc=rss

    20% of 27 billion is a lot of money to overlook. With penalties for non reporting the government could match that 27 billion.

  5. #5
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    That's one of the many reasons I don't use paypal for my business. Imagine if your Pay Pal account is hacked. There goes your identity.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHC - Travis View Post
    That's one of the many reasons I don't use paypal for my business. Imagine if your Pay Pal account is hacked. There goes your identity.
    Have a credit card, a cell phone?
    There are various other business entities that require or say that they require your SS# that could also be hacked.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by HH-Mike View Post
    Have a credit card, a cell phone?
    There are various other business entities that require or say that they require your SS# that could also be hacked.
    Yeah but none of them quite like Pay Pal because all a pay pal account requires is one password. It's like having the root password to someone's server... there's no safeguards in place.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHC - Travis View Post
    Yeah but none of them quite like Pay Pal because all a pay pal account requires is one password. It's like having the root password to someone's server... there's no safeguards in place.
    Looking at my paypal account I can not find the ss# displayed anywhere.
    I did run across Paypal's Security Key which look interesting. It does cost $5, but they send you this little device that generates a new 6digit number every 30 seconds.
    So email address, password & 6 digit number to log in.

  9. Firstly, your identity cannot be stolen simply if your PayPal account is compromised. Worse case scenario, the attacker would be able to wipe out your PayPal and any accounts linked to it, which although can definitely be a pain, it isn't something that can't be fixed with a few phone calls. PayPal will usually always be willing to help in these kinds of situations, and even if they aren't, your bank will almost undoubtedly be able to help recover any stolen funds.

    Regarding the OP's question, the main reason PayPal would be interested in having your SSN is for credit reporting purposes, for example if you somehow go into negative account balance, PayPal wants to be able to put delinquent account marks on your credit report, as well as turn that information over to their third party debt collection agencies. (Usually, I.C. Systems and/or NCO Financial)

    Since it's completely possible to verify your PayPal without providing a social security number, I'd advise against it, as PayPal is known to have some horror stories in regards to chargebacks against sellers, or unfairly siding with the buyer in the case of a dispute.

  10. #10
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    When you are getting a merchant account - you are somewhat borrowing money from the merchant account provider.

    Let's say you get a merchant account from Chris at CDGCommerce. You then start to "sell" real Gucci bags for $50. Wow - that's a deal, so people will be buying a lot from you. Now, this has gone on for a month, and you sold $50,000.

    Now you are gone - and the money is not in the bank. The customers will be calling their issuing bank to get their money back. And they will - possibly reason code 51. And guess who will be out all that money? Chris at CDG will.

    Having that SSN will help Chris track you down and get his money back.

    Of course, I am not saying you are doing this, etc but I am trying to give you a good example on why merchant account providers and Internet Payment Service Providers want your social security number.

  11. #11
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    Thanks Offshore and Corey, those were good explanations. I was able to get varified without giving the SSN to PP. But it is good to know how this stuff works. I have always tried hard to be in compliance with various regulations and laws. There is so much fraud going on that even when you are an honest seller, the payment service providers have a tendency to view everyone as a risk. But I guess if I were in their shoes, I would too.

  12. #12
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    Glad I could help Ron and glad that it all worked out for you. Good luck with everything!

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron View Post
    What can PayPal find out about you if you give them your SSN and why do they want it?
    The reason why they ask for Social Security number is because of the Patriot Act.

    Many of our merchants questioned the same thing, and it's the government that requires it.
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  14. #14
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    Just keep in mind that merchant account providers and PayPal have been asking for SSNs long before the Patriot Act was ever enacted. Asking for SSN is a way for a lot of credit providers to help idenfity an individual.

    The SSN is being abused by some companies asking for it (and using it in some IDs). The number was created to help track people in the Social Security program not for some of the purposes that it is being used for today.

  15. #15
    Sure. Aside from Patriot Act, for instance, merchant companies use the SS# to pull credit to see if there are any open BKs and to see overall standing of the merchant.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby CynergyData View Post
    The reason why they ask for Social Security number is because of the Patriot Act.

    Many of our merchants questioned the same thing, and it's the government that requires it.
    Patriot act do not state that they must collect SSN
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  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by u4t2t View Post
    Patriot act do not state that they must collect SSN
    It's part of screening process when you deal with financial institutions. Your social automatically runs through their system and is required by the government.

    I have been working for financial institutions before 9/11 and that's not how it was before.

    When you apply for a mortgage same thing happens.
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  18. #18
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    SSN is not required by the government, required is that they must verify their clients, but it does not say what they must collect, if SSN would be must then non US persons could not open accounts in US
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  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by u4t2t View Post
    SSN is not required by the government, required is that they must verify their clients, but it does not say what they must collect, if SSN would be must then non US persons could not open accounts in US
    I'm just telling you how it is and what is required to open a merchant account / bank account / apply for mortgage. And it is factual data.

    And I do not know about non US clients because we are in USA.
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  20. #20
    and here's your answer to foreign customers directly from the government:

    "(2) requiring foreign nationals to apply for and obtain, before opening an account with a domestic financial institution, an identification number which would function similarly to a Social Security number or tax identification number; and
    (3) establishing a system for domestic financial institutions and agencies to review information maintained by relevant Government agencies for purposes of verifying the identities of foreign nationals seeking to open accounts at those institutions and agencies. "

    http://epic.org/privacy/terrorism/hr3162.html
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  21. #21
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    The Patriot Act just added more work to some individuals / companies. However, it has only been around a few years and organizations were collecting the SSN long before it was ever enacted.

  22. #22
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    Any Web site that asks for an SSN or SIN should be avoided. Cannot think of any reason why a "Web site" would be asking for it. Also leads to confusion because then people get Phishing eMails to provide their SSN or SIN either in an eMail or at the bogus Phishing Web site.

    Keep it simple, just say NO!

    And BTW, PayPal has never, ever asked for an SSN or SIN, to my knowledge and experience of 7 years doing business with them.
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  23. #23
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    A SSN is used for a lot of United States companies to "track" us Americans. This way, if you skip out on a bill, they can notate this on your credit report.

    The SSN was created for a different purpose than it is used today but when you open a savings account, you need to give them your SSN, so any can be reported to the United States goverment and then they can tax you on this income. (No, not bitter at all considering we have to pay $70,000 this year).

    If you do not sign up for Paypal's interest bearing account - you do not need to give Paypal your SSN.

    But a "web site" will ask for a SSN if you are an American and you might need to be "tracked" for earning income or skipping out on a credit card payment.

    99.5% of all credit cards will ask Americans for the SSN. This will help them bring up a credit report to see how much credit you deserve, if any.

  24. #24
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    Just to clarify, I'm not saying you never give your SSN or SIN out, just never give it out on a Web site. If it is really required then make a phone call instead.
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  25. #25
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    Well you dont have to give them your SSN, right? Like I had a business account before and just made another and I have yet to put in my ssn on my new account. They dont require it...

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