Apparently the US thinks I'm a bad guy

My Paypal account has been cancelled and I received this e-mail from them:

I took the liberty of looking up the Office of Foreign Assets
Control Specially Designated Nationals and right on their homepage it states that the office

Uh, thrilling, a computer decided that I can be a terrorist or a drug lord or something. How´s the weather in Guantanamo this time of the year?

Joking aside, is this something to be concerned about or what? I´m planning to change planes in L.A. next December in a trip to Thailand and I wouldn´t like to be stopped there because my name is on a database of Evil Doers®.
*I swear that the ICBM I keep over my mantle piece is only for decorative purposes

It sounds like PayPal is trying to scam you and steal your identity.


A scam is a certain possibility, however it´s quite suspicious that I got this e-mail and my Paypal account was cancelled at the same time. Besides I received this on an account that hasn´t been ever targeted by spam of any kind so far (I use it only for Paypal and Ebay stuff and I haven´t shown the adress anywhere)

No, a scam is a definite fucking possibility.

Why exactly would providing your home utility bill prove that you’re not a terrorist?

Contact PayPal about this, but whatever you do, do not fax your utility bill and ID card to that fax number unless you want your identity stolen.

Trust me on this one.

Oh, another interesting thing. That fax number is here in my area code in Denver and the front range of Colorado. The supplied mailing address is in Omaha Nebraska, aobut 550 miles east of here.

Again, allow me to encourage you not to send all of your personal identifying information to these people.

Don´t worry, I didn´t have the least inclination of sending anything at all. As soon as I can be bothered to do so I´ll write to Paypal to inquire why did they cancell my account and if it has anything to do with this e-mail.

Sounds like an e-mail designed to look like it came from paypal but did not. I would forward it to and, as threemae has already suggested, do not respond as directed in the e-mail.

A simple first test is your name. Was it sent to your REAL [first name] [lastname]? Or was the email headed “Dear PayPal Customer”?

This isn’t the end all of tests, but PayPal themselves say it is an important one.

Another thing, according to their “About Us”, PayPal is located in San Jose, California. Yeah, they could have other offices, but that’s just weird. And I doubt they’d have just a P.O. box.

Did you go to the PayPal website specifically, and DID you go to the security center?

It was sent to my specific name, that´s the second main reason why I didn´t label it as spam without a thought (the first being the cancelled account)

Guinastasia, yes I went to the Paypal site and I got a message in red lettering saying:

Which sounds a bit harsh and short in details.

FWIW this is not an uncommon reason for account suspension. Given that your account is suspended and the reply address looks legit I would guess this isn’t a phishing scam, just a paypal scam.

Contact Homeland Security directly, & ask if they have heard of a scam like this.

Tell them you are “happy to comply, if it is real”, then ask them about it.

It’s possible the girl you’re supposed to meet in Thailand isn’t exactly who you expect, yanno.

Pistols at dawn, dress formally. :stuck_out_tongue:

See? You have a weapon–you MUST be a terrorist.

Please don’t hurt me.

Sounds scarey and not quite right–bears looking into. How much $ did they freeze? (anything over $5 would have me pissed!)

Luckly my account doesn´t hold any money because it draws it from my debit card; if not all money would have been frozen, $1, $10 or $10.000. I´ve searched the net about other people with the same problem and that´s what happened.

Let´s take a stroll through the situation, the Paypal Embargoed Goods, Prohibited Countries Policy page states that:

I looked at that page and the Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN) and sure enough my name is in it… well sorta, there´s a guy on Mexico whose second name and second surname are the same as mine, Alejandro García; it´s on the text list right after the MOROCCAN
ISLAMIC COMBATANT GROUP. Did I mention García is a very common surname?, the phone directory has pages after pages of Garcías here and in every country with Spanish ancestry.

More fun with the SDN list:

Western Union Blocks Arab Cash Deliveries

And I´m not the only one pissed about the way I´m labelled an Evil Doer® until proven innocent.

Now I´m wondering what other concequences are to having my “name” on that SDN.

P.S: I just realized that I wrote “things” instead of “thinks” on the thread title… may I ask for some mod mercy for a correction?

Well, crap, this may well be legitamate but I have no idea as to how to go about getting back your money.

This part would piss me of:

Is every guy named Al having this done? Everyone with an Arab name? Every Kim? I can see their point if the name matched, but yours is similar so you’re guilty and YOU have to prove otherwise. Is this Soviet Russia?

You may, and your wish has been granted. Personally, I would have asked for treasure or super powers or something, but hey, it was your one once-in-a-lifetime, no-redo wish…

Ale performs sepuku with a rusted spoon