I have not used Paypal before; however, I need to use it to send money now. I have heard that Paypal shows your real name and address when you send money.

How can I stop that, so that I can send money without giving the recipient my real private information? I have heard that business accounts can use a "business name" instead of a personal name; could I just make a business account (even though I don't have a business) and use it as a personal account without repercussions?

  • 4
    Just a thought, but if you're that worried about the seller knowing your information, maybe it's better not to purchase from them. ('m sure there are exceptions to this, but I just can't think of any at the moment.)
    – TTT
    Aug 1, 2016 at 20:26
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    @TTT I'm not afraid of them knowing or anything; I just don't see any reason to tell them unless it's actually necessary.
    – Somatic
    Aug 1, 2016 at 20:30
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    @TTT for example for donations? What if I want to donate for something on the Internet (Project, Software, humanitary cause, etc) but don't want to share private information? Or even pay for some service or software license, where is unnecessary to share that info (eg: Netflix, Patreon, Youtube Movies, etc), we should be able to do that... IMO Nov 22, 2017 at 15:06
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    @PauloOliveira - excellent example and that definitely falls into the exceptions I couldn't think of. Particularly donations. Sometimes when I donate to particular organizations I later get bombarded with more requests to donate which can be annoying. And I suppose if you are purchasing something that is legal but potentially embarrassing, I could see wanting to stay anonymous, especially given that breaches are so common.
    – TTT
    Nov 22, 2017 at 15:24
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    @ttt There are reasons for preserving anonymity in a transaction that don't involve being afraid of the seller. Like not wanting the seller to accidentally leak your personal details, together with your peculiar and embarrassing tastes in, well, whatever. Jan 13, 2019 at 23:46

4 Answers 4


I have 2 PayPal accounts for this purpose (with different email addresses).

The first account is tied to my real email address, and has my real name, phone and home address associated with it. This account is also connected to my bank account and credit cards.

For riskier transactions where I don't need physical delivery (or will accept delivery to my local post-office in cases where I don't trust the seller with my personal details) I use my secondary account, which has a secondary email address of mine, and a fake name and with a fake address, it is not connected to any external accounts.

To send or receive money "anonymously" I first send money from my real account to my fake account (inter-account transfers are free with PayPal), and then send the money to the seller from the fake account.

This is in violation of PayPal's terms of service, but I've been using this system for the past 5+ years without any issues.

  • 9
    I want to DV this for proposing breaking the PayPal ToS, but I'm going to upvote instead.
    – TTT
    Aug 2, 2016 at 15:29
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    If you set up an account PayPal now requires photographs of ID and confirmation of address, so this is now not possible Jul 31, 2017 at 19:35
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    @PauloOliveira - I was mainly commenting based on the last sentence of the answer stating that it violates the ToS. I'm not sure which part it actually violates. It could be providing false information, or maybe having multiple personal accounts is a violation.
    – TTT
    Nov 22, 2017 at 15:37
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    I tried something like this before, but my account got flagged somehow and was frozen (with money in it) until I provided identification - which I obviously couldn't because I created it with false identification data. Conclusion: If you do this, don't ever keep money in the account, get it out as quickly as possible. This way you can only lose the account, not the funds.
    – mastov
    Jun 4, 2018 at 9:52
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    I did this once. It worked too. But just now I tried to do it again. When I tried to accept the money to my sockpuppet account sent from my official account, it demanded that I verify my identity with official ID. I guess PayPal is wise to this. Jan 13, 2019 at 23:43

If that is what you insist upon, don't use PayPal. This is one of the supposed justifications for the existence of cryptocurrencies

  • 4
    Not "everyone" accepts cryptocurrency. Nov 22, 2017 at 15:08
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    Furthermore, Bitcoin currently (as of Q4 2017) has a time-to-first-confirmation of between 30 minutes to 1 hour with relatively high transaction fees for small amounts - making it impractical for real-time, small-valued payments which PayPal and others are popular for.
    – Dai
    Nov 22, 2017 at 18:27
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    @Dai I don't think anybody ever argued that Bitcoin = cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is basically treated as a value preservation tool by now, not a real-time transaction tool. This is pretty clear.
    – xji
    Mar 18, 2018 at 9:16

This is still relevant. Address management is allowed in your PayPal Account settings.

  1. Add a dummy address to use for transactions that do not require physical delivery.
  2. Use a dedicated email address for PayPal, buy a domain name if you have to. PayPal exposes your logon email to the receiving party. This is despite this being considered a breach in most jurisdictions and their also promising not to share financial information. It is a simple matter for a hacker to hijack your account with this email. This is a foreseeable risk, and they arguably have a duty of care to protect you. A forwarding email should be used, preferably on their domain. Username logins are a no-brainer.
  3. In addition, eBay have a big problem with this email being exposed, as early as last century it became obvious that category killers would dump vast amounts of stock below cost just to harvest a mailing list from eBay. Banning email logons works, but not if PayPal foils the ban. Hackers, meh. Lost income is what they care about.
  4. As for your own name, it is acceptable to use an AKA. In fact in many places it is rare for people to be known by their actual given names. The name should not be "false", but it does not have to be the name on your SSN or Birth Certificate.
  5. If you have to use an address, add a unique alpha code, such as a locker or box number for each transaction.
  6. Invoice without mercy for any unsolicited mail or email received.
  • 1
    It is a simple matter for a hacker to hijack your account with this email Huh? If it really was simple, why haven't hacks totally compromised the entire service? Can you provide some backing for your statement that it is simple to hack someone's paypal account if you know their email address?
    – dwizum
    Sep 23, 2019 at 13:05

Yes, you can create a PayPal business account without having formalized a business with government filings and whatnot.

At its simplest terms, "having a business" is simply "doing business as" (D/B/A) a trade name. You can use the address of a Private Mail Box such as those provided at the UPS Store.

Ask any kid with a lemonade stand or a box of Girl Scout cookies - you only need to engage in government formalities like registering an LLC or getting a tax EIN when you cross certain thresholds of activity, and paying for things is generally not it.

Also, some of businesses, for some relationships, will require the business formalities like an EIN, which in turn will require creating a trade name and registering it with the state. For instance if you set up a traditional credit card merchant account, they'll probably want that.

  • @Ivanov I doubt it. USA is hardly an outlier when it comes to business and tax law. Most tax law will work like I described, if for no other reason than paperwork is a nuisance. Jul 2, 2019 at 18:54

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