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PayPal says my mouse mat violates international sanctions | Online shopping

PayPal thinks I’m violating international sanctions by shopping for an English-made “Persian rug” mouse mat from Etsy. My account was suspended and, in an electronic mail, which mistook me for the vendor, it knowledgeable me I used to be promoting PayPal as a way of cost for objects that will originate from Iran. I used to be warned that my account can be terminated until I supplied proof of the place the mat was made. It’s amusing that PayPal thinks I’m illegally promoting rugs, as a substitute of enhancing my desk décor!
WM, Cambridge

You have fallen sufferer of a double whammy – PayPal’s insufficient filters and the very fact you’re shopping for from a US company. UN sanctions towards Iran have been lifted in 2016 and UK companies can purchase and promote there, however the US reimposed restrictions in 2018.

PayPal has to function in accordance with US regulation. You would suppose its algorithms can be sufficiently refined to differentiate a Persian rug motif made in Leicester from Iranian contraband, particularly on condition that a number of thousand objects on Etsy have Persia of their identify. PayPal is unabashed. “We never lose sight of the fact that we are entrusted to look after people’s money,” it intones. “We have a great responsibility to ensure money is moving around the world in compliance with laws and regulations. Sometimes we have to take a closer look at an account and pause their activity while we conduct a review. We don’t always get it right, but we are determined to do the right thing by our customers.”

It has reinstated your account.

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