Cyber Security Theater: PayPal Edition

I’ve been trying to remove a now-closed checking account from my PayPal wallet for about 6 months now. Every time I’ve tried to do it myself, their site says there’s a pending transaction and won’t remove the account.

Never mind that there’s not a pending anything anywhere.

Today I had a few extra minutes and decided to call and make them produce evidence of this mysterious pending transaction and remove the stupid account and the debit card associated with it.

Once I finally got a real human person on the phone (no small feat), “Melody” needed to verify my identity by asking me five SOOPER SECURR questions.

Multiple choice questions, because it’s very very important that I, and only I, can know the answers.

Question 1: “Which of these cities is associated with you?”

A) City You Used to Work in
B) City That May Not Even Exist
C) CIty You Used to Live in

Well, City A is associated with me, but so is City C. When in doubt, pick C. Correct!

Question 2: “Which of these streets is associated with you?”

A) A Street
B) A Street You Used to Live on
C) Another Street

Woo hoo! I think I might pass this after all. The answer is B for Bring on all the questions!

Question 3: “Margaret Maidenname was born in what month?”

A) March
B) November
C) Sept–

Me: “Wait, who?!”

Melody: “Margaret Maidenname.”


Melody: gasp, awkward laughing “Oh, my” titter titter “uhh…”

Me: “I think she’s about 11, but even SHE doesn’t know what month she was born. How the hell do YOU know?”

Melody: “Ha ha, I’ll just choose ‘none of the above.’ Next question…”

Security Theater Game Over.  Exeunt Omnes.

Tl;dr: PayPal never could produce a “pending transaction” on my account, related to these payment sources or any other, but they did finally manually remove them probably. I’ll check back in a day or two to make sure.

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