PayPal Comments and the Term Syria(n) May be Hazardous to Your Account!

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coyja

Senior Member
Feb 10, 2018
396
357
Spinning ball of dirt
EDIT: Fixed Capitalization in Title (See Rule 9)

I know there has been a lot of issues going around with PayPal, and here is another obscure one!

Myself and member @Pipenwheels went on a wild ride this past week.
He agreed to purchase some Vintage Syrian from me, and paid via PayPal.
I never request Friends and Family payments, but he is newer to the platform, and sent payment via F&F and left a remark "thanks for the Syria" (or something close to that).

They basically instantly froze the transaction and I thought my account was dead for using F&F.

But it turns our it was the term Syria that caused the hold, that took about a week to lift and he had to write and explain to PP what was up. Both ironically, and helpfully, it turns out he lives like 20 min from me, so it probably doesn't look that shady and I don't use my PP account for a bunch of selling anyway.

The rule is always no comments if you are going to send F&F (which I don't advise), but def don't mention Syria, lol!
(And I wouldn't mention it even in a Goods and Services exchange at this point!)
 
Last edited by a moderator:

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jerseysam

Senior Member
Mar 24, 2019
319
2,549
Liberty Township. OH
"Damascus" is another term that PayPal Big Brother quickly latches on to (more in the knife world than a tobacco concern).

I was surprised to find the PP "filter" such a broad and instantaneous net....but the few times it happened to me it was cleared up in 48 hours (this was all standard merchant sales that a Middle Easter-like keyword triggered the eye in the sky).
 

oldgeezersmoker

Preferred Member
Oct 7, 2016
1,999
2,876
Why is everyone always wanting to undercut the platform that only makes a small percentage? It merely saves you pocket change. What stingy bastards. Give the platform its due. Pay the ferryman!

But, I'm glad you got it sorted out.

Yeah, but....
Buyers run scams, too. If you use goods and services as opposed to friends and family, the buyer has six months to file a complaint. My favorite tale is from one of the cigar boards from a few years back. Seller put a sampler of various Dominican and Nicaraguan sticks together, offered it at a good price. Deal was done. Four months pass, then buyer files a complaint. Fortunately the seller had kept the link to the USPS tracking on file, sent that to PayPal showing delivery. Game over, right? Wrong. Buyer then claimed that his 15 year old son had grabbed his credit card, somehow found this cigar forum, and ordered the cigars. Guess who lost that dispute.
 

kschatey

Senior Member
Oct 16, 2019
412
666
Ohio
I know there has been a lot of issues going around with PayPal, and here is another obscure one!

Myself and member @Pipenwheels went on a wild ride this past week.
He agreed to purchase some Vintage Syrian from me, and paid via PayPal.
I never request Friends and Family payments, but he is newer to the platform, and sent payment via F&F and left a remark "thanks for the Syria" (or something close to that).

They basically instantly froze the transaction and I thought my account was dead for using F&F.

But it turns our it was the term Syria that caused the hold, that took about a week to lift and he had to write and explain to PP what was up. Both ironically, and helpfully, it turns out he lives like 20 min from me, so it probably doesn't look that shady and I don't use my PP account for a bunch of selling anyway.

The rule is always no comments if you are going to send F&F (which I don't advise), but def don't mention Syria, lol!
(And I wouldn't mention it even in a Goods and Services exchange at this point!)
There is an OFAC sanction regarding Syria (and many other countries) and financial institutions are required to abide by the sanctions. There is clearly keyword tigger technology in place to flag transactions that may violate the current list of sanctions. This is only one of several ways that they are enforcing the restrictions.
 
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Reactions: coyja

Pipenwheels

New member
Nov 3, 2020
49
414
Ohio
It really caught me by suprise. I wrote thanks for the Syrian and immediately my payment was flagged. Took 3 days before they sent an email asking what I meant by Syrian and what the payment was for. I sent an eloquent reply about the "Macbaren HH Vintage Syrian" tobacco, included the fact that I'm in wheelchair with neuromuscular disorder and my friend was helping me out. It makes sense in retrospect but I have never encountered anything like this before. I wasnt attempting to skirt any fees and personally I would send an extra 5 or 10 above asking if I did send it the other way. I assumed all payments are sent this way as I am new to pipe smoking and new to this forum. I think a sticky might be prudent regarding F&F, no comments, and especially be careful of Syrian, cuban or saying this tobacco is the bomb! Thanks Coyja for being so understanding and gracious throughout this process. I have learned a lesson or two.
 
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Reactions: coyja and jvnshr

jvnshr

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 4, 2015
4,393
2,564
Baku, Azerbaijan
@Pipenwheels, what a nightmare! I am glad you guys managed to resolve it.

I think a sticky might be prudent regarding F&F, no comments, and especially be careful of Syrian, cuban or saying this tobacco is the bomb!

According to the Tobacco Sell/Swap/Search Forum Rules:

-PipesMagazine.com is not responsible for any trades or sales. Completion of a transaction is solely between the agreeing members.
 

FurCoat

Preferred Member
Sep 21, 2020
1,302
7,282
North Carolina
I refuse to use paypal, so that cuts me out of ebay and such, but I'm not missing anything. This is the closest thing to social media I've ever been on. No facebook, snapchat, tikcock, twitter or twatter. I use cash, write out checks for bills, credit card when necessary. Keepin it analog as long as I can and off the radar.
 

brut666

Preferred Member
Oct 7, 2020
686
1,567
Kent, "The Garden Of England"
I refuse to use paypal, so that cuts me out of ebay and such, but I'm not missing anything. This is the closest thing to social media I've ever been on. No facebook, snapchat, tikcock, twitter or twatter. I use cash, write out checks for bills, credit card when necessary. Keepin it analog as long as I can and off the radar.
Finally, someone who agrees with me. I have none of the above either, this is the only forum that I've joined and used.
 

chasingembers

Captain of the Black Frigate
Nov 12, 2014
25,152
27,557
I refuse to use paypal, so that cuts me out of ebay and such, but I'm not missing anything.
They accept debit cards. I have a prepaid one specifically for Ebay.

Finally, someone who agrees with me. I have none of the above either, this is the only forum that I've joined and used.
A few pipe forums, barbering forums, and RC forums are all I'm on. I've never even owned a computer.
 

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