PayPal offers a convenient service for sending, spending, and receiving money online. They also offer the PayPal My Cash card which can be used for manufacturing spend. It’s possible to buy My Cash cards with credit cards, then load the money to your PayPal account, then withdraw the money in various ways. For those seeking credit card rewards, it sounds perfect. Unfortunately, PayPal will almost certainly freeze your account if you do this often. And, when they freeze your account, they won’t let you use or withdraw funds for 6 months. I recently warned people away from this technique in the post “Beware buying PayPal My Cash cards.”
In response to my warning post, I received an intriguing email:
For reasons of keeping my identity hidden I have created a new email account to contact you about PayPal MyCash. I currently work for PayPal and am privy to a lot of info that might help your readers out. I would love to answer some questions regarding shutdowns and hopefully clarify the issue. I am a frequent traveler and I understand the need for manufactured spend and I don’t want those that do it to be punished as this is something I do myself. [..edited…]. I have to do this anonymously because I could lose my job since I am not acting in any official capacity, but I feel the need to help out my fellow frequent milers. Let me know if you would like to set something up.
Anonymous PayPal employee
I was, of course, extremely interested. I did worry, though, that this could be a prank by an internet troll hoping to humiliate me. So, I asked for proof that they were really a PayPal employee. I promised to keep the information confidential, of course. In response, Anonymous PayPal employee (hereafter referred to as Anonymous) sent convincing evidence. Of course I still can’t rule out the possibility of an internet troll going to great lengths to prove their false story, but I think its unlikely. I’m convinced enough to risk it.
I’ll start the ball rolling by asking several questions myself within this post. Then, readers can add their own additional questions. When I receive answers from Anonymous, I’ll follow up with one or more posts to report the answers.
Here are my questions for Anonymous:
- Do you know of any safe way to use PayPal to manufacture spend? Is there a pattern of use that will avoid shutdown?
- Once an account is frozen, is there any way to get it re-opened in good standing? In my experience, all appeals (via phone or email) get rejected without any chance to plead one’s case. I would love the opportunity to prove that I’m not the money launderer they seem to believe I am.
- Once an account is frozen, is there a good way to get access to frozen funds in less than the stated 6 months?
- I’ve found that, after having an account frozen, it is possible to create a new account just by using new email address. Later, though, when I requested funds from my frozen account, my new account was frozen even though I hadn’t done anything with the new account that should have raised suspicion (grrrr). Assuming there’s no good way to reestablish a frozen account, can you recommend a good way to establish a new account that is less likely to be shut down?
If you have additional questions for Anonymous, please add your questions to the comments section, below. Please try not to duplicate questions others have asked. Before writing your question, refresh the page and read through the comments section to see the latest reader input.
If you have private questions, you can email them to me (frequentmiler at gmail dot com) and I’ll pass them along.