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Wed, 23 Jan 2008

PayPal puzzle

We're getting a lot of spam e-mails at the office, some of which are phishing messages which appear to come from Paypal. In order to be on the safe side, I changed the "primary" e-mail address of our account and removed the office e-mail address. Unfortunately, Paypal doesn't warn you that this may lead to problems. In my case, the problem was that the "Make a donation" link on our website still used the old e-mail address, with the result that a donation was cancelled. (Paypal informed me by e-mail - to the old address - of both the donation and the cancellation.)

This kind of thing is really annoying because, apart from fees which have to paid although the money doesn't get through, there's always the risk of putting donors off. What I find most remarkable about the whole event, though, is the fact that it didn't get recorded in any way on the account. When I log in and view "all activity", there's no indication that a donation was made or cancelled. It seems that the Paypal system was unable to find our account - just because I changed the e-mail address.

Apparently, the only way for a "Make a donation" button to "know" which account the money is supposed to go to is the e-mail address associated with that account. But if this is so, then I don't understand why this isn't pointed out to a user when they change this e-mail address.

Posted on 23 Jan 2008 at 20:17 in /technology/internet. -- Permalink

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