PayPal Says It’ll Change Its Fraud Filters So Users Won’t Get Frozen Accounts So Dang Often

Frauds and scams are awful and when it comes to your money, of course a service like PayPal is expected to protect customers from such shenanigans. But the company’s infamous process of filtering frauds has also proven difficult for customers trying to prove they actually are who they are in the past. That’s all changing now, says PayPal.

PayPal’s strict fraud filters can often leave legitimate businesses, charities or even its individual customers stuck, trying to prove they are who they say they are with pages of paperwork and hours of frustration. For example, if PayPal thinks there’s a risk of fraud it will freeze funds for anywhere between 21 and 180 days.

Trying to prove you’re not a fake is often more difficult for say, someone holding a fundraiser or selling tickets to an event, because you can’t show months of sales’ records to bolster your legitimacy.

PayPal is finally listening to all that feedback and is promising to change its system in the coming months.

“These are not minor — these are aggressive changes,” said Anuj Nayar, PayPal’s senior director of communications, according to CNNMoney. “This is a fundamental shift in our business operations.”

What these not minor changes are isn’t exactly clear — yet, but Payar says they will be at some point.

“We want to be clear about how people can get out of the [frozen funds] situation,” he said. “We need to get better about helping people, or explaining why actions are being taken.”

Sounds like a plan?

One of the funniest aspects of the current system is the requirement for customers to mail in actual pieces of paper to a company that’s supposed to be well, an online payments company.

“We’re fixing a lot of that,” Nayar said. “At a minimum, the fact that someone needs to mail in something to an online payments company is a problem. 2013 is going to be the year that we fix a lot of those pain points.”

It’s not going to happen fast, he adds, but it will happen. Start the clock.

PayPal: ‘Aggressive changes’ coming to frozen funds policy [CNNMoney]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.