Your PayPal Account Could Be Costing You Money. Check It Now.


PayPalHave you noticed how companies like to persuade you to sign up for regular payments and automatic renewals? When you register a domain name, for example, it's generally set to renew automatically. It's the same with online music services, software subscriptions, insurance, phone plans, and so on.

Assuming that you still continue to use or need the service you paid for, this can be very convenient. But if you don't, and you neglect to cancel the arrangement, you can end up paying for things that you don't need.

If you have a PayPal account, here's a tip that can save you money. Log into your account and go to the section for Pre-Approved Payments. This will show you details of any company which, in the past, you've granted permission to take money from your account on a regular basis. Check it out, and you might be surprised what's on the list. It'll show you all the companies you've authorized, and how much money they can take each time.

Even if a particular company's entry is shown as a zero amount, this isn't a guarantee that you're safe. If the entry is listed as active, they can still return to your account at a later date.

So take a couple of minutes and look at your set of Pre Approved Payments. If there are any that you no longer need, cancel them. You can do it by clicking on each one and choosing the cancel option. Just make sure you don't accidentally cancel something you really need, such as an ongoing insurance policy or phone subscription.

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I have used the virtual card from CitiBank for years, but not all services will accept it. Somehow some services recognize it as a virtual card.

i have just checked my PayPal account - wasn't going to as I knew I'd never made any arrangements with them for ongoing payments - and found SIX pre-approved payments that I never created or authorised and have cancelled them. I've always trusted PayPal and now don't know just whether I do or not. Will keep a very close eye on any transaction through them in future. Thanks for the warning!

Never allow automatic payments from any of my accounts, even my electric. This caused me a problem about 15 years ago, before I had a computer, and had to go into the bank in order to get it straightened out. Never again. This just reminds me of my past folly. Thanx.

Thank you for this! I just had an issue with Godaddy in Nov where they sent me a notice that some free thing I don't use would expire and I would be billed. I spoke to them (they don't allow emails) and they carefully said there was no money due for that month or the next. I asked them to cancel the product as I had not managed to online (Godaddy are very tricksy). They said they had. I got debited anyway. I got the money back on Paypal and they said the product was cancelled. But because of this article I looked and saw they hadn't cancelled it at all and although the payment was under $100 I had apparently approved them to take up to $500 per month. THANK YOU. Now to find an alternative site to register my domain.

That is one of the reasons why I give NOBODY permission to automatically charge any of my accounts - well truth be told, we got the 0% car loan only with the provision that they can charge my checking account automatically. And I will watch for the correct termination of these payments, you bet.

EVERYBODY else has to send me an invoice and I initiate the transfer from said checking account to the recipient. Now that I do for convenience's sake online - but then, my computer is squeaky clean as far as any kind of malware goes.

This was an eye opener.

I had eleven active accounts and one cancelled account ranging from July 2001o to Feb 2016 that to the best of my recollection I never authorized to automatically take payments and none of the active accounts showed that there were any. The cancelled one was from a blog which I didn't authorize for a yearly renewal and I'm guessing the cancel was initiated by the blog.

I never do reoccurring payment accounts. Even Magazine subscriptions I pay as they come due although I forfeit the enticement for doing the automatic renewal payment.

When I got done canceling each account, it was marked inactive and advised that I would have to contact each merchant If I wanted to reactivate the account.

Bottom line, I would never knowingly authorize Pay Pal for this type transaction.

Next question. How do I completely remove the twelve accounts from my PayPal account?

I have never used this service and never will having several friends and former colleagues who have been ripped off one way or another for substantial amounts. Whatever I can't buy/pay with my fraud insured bank cards or by transfer, I don't need. :) MC - Site Manager.

Unauthorized renewals is a big issue and fortunately there's a simple solution. Use virtual credit card numbers to sign up for services and to pay for most purchases on the web. I have two credit cards with Citibank. I can create a one-time-use virtual credit card number either by logging in to my Citi account online or, more conveniently by using the app (download from Citi) on my Windows computer. Once called, the app asks for my user name and password. I can then choose which card to charge the payment to and I am also presented with two additional options. I can limit the maximum amount that can be charged to that virtual number, useful if you're unsure of the integrity of the vendor, and you can set an expiration date. Once options, if any, are set the app generates a number complete with month and year and CVV number. The charge appears on your regular credit card statement and to the seller it is no different than any other transaction. Until that is they try to renew. Since the number was good for one use only it cannot be used for renewal and of course it's useless if stolen from the vendors database. You will then receive an email from that vendor telling you they had a problem with the renewal you may not have authorized at which point you can renew with another virtual number or ignore them completely. I use virtual credit card numbers with all online purchases and, with the exception of EZpass (no choice there) I grant no one access to my accounts. Not all banks offer this service but I consider it invaluable and sleep better at night because of it.

Thank you to Rob for this article.

Thank you to Gravwell for the further **virtual credit card number** details and practical application... (archived in Evernote).
Haven't seen or read this before. I bank with State Farm Bank and Chase Bank... and will further research. THX. :)

Excellent advice and a very welcome heads up! Thankfully I was able to see the folly in pre-athorized, automatic payments long ago and avoid them. But the reminder is much appreciated. Of course, these types of payments can be convenient, but at what cost and who really benefits the most from this convenience! I am quite sure that my paypal account does not include any automatic payments but I'm going to check anyway. Thanks again. Great stuff!