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Adwords Identified suspicious behavior in the payment activity

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

So, recently I added a new payment method to my Adwords account. It was Payoneer pre-paid debit mastercard. I use it to collect client payments faster and to avoid lengthy wire transfers to my country bank account. However, soon after that I got my account suspended and the red warnings stated: "We've identified suspicious behavior in the payment activity of this or your other AdWords accounts. To help prevent any unauthorized activity, we suspended your AdWords accounts and "Your account is suspended because your billing information can't be verified". Clearly I got stuck in some kind of fraud prevention filter, because first it was pre-paid debit card and secondly, the payment came from outside of my own country because with Payoneer I have USD balance in US, EUR balance in Germany etc. However, after a quick e-mail to Adwords they said a team of specialist will re-review it. However, to my big surprise, they confirmed it was violation of policies.

 

However, after re-reading the Terms & conditions myself ( https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/54818?hl=en ) I could not identify a single rule I was breaking with using pre-paid debit card and a billing method outside of my country. I understand why I was caught in the fraud filter in this place, but I feel like "team of specialist" really did not review my case properly. My Payoneer billing address is same as in Adwords so should be no problem to verify. Also I have passed all ID etc checks in Payoneer.

 

Also the most strange thing is that Google supposedly cannot verify my payment details and states that it found a suspicious payment activity and to prevent unauthorized billing they suspended my account. So, pretty much Google points out that it may not be my billing method, that its a fraud and I am unauthorized to use that billing method which kind of implies that I have gained illegal access to it. However, in 14/06 google charged $584.88 from that Payoneer card. How is that Google has such a high suspicion for that billing method that they suspended my account and claiming it to be unauthorized activity, but still charging money from that card they suspect I might not be the owner of?

 

Looking for some help with this case!

 

Thanks,

 

 

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Adwords Identified suspicious behavior in the payment activity

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Hi Jan

Unfortunately, we don't have access to your account here. You'll have to contact support directly. We have no way to see the payment details on your account or any anomalies that may have caused the account to be suspended. Only someone inside Google will have that access.

You can find the various option to contact AdWords support here: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/8206?hl=en
I'd recommend the live chat. That's your best bet to speak to someone who can give you answers on this particular issue. Payoneer cards are not inherently a bad thing or risky so I suspect it may be something else. Again, you'll have to contact AdWords support directly to find out.

Sorry I cannot be of more help.

Re: Adwords Identified suspicious behavior in the payment activity

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hey Dave,

Thanks for reply. I definitely understand that there are certain departments that deal with billing issues and not everyone has access to my payment details etc. The question is not so much of a specific ways to solve my suspension, but more about is there something I can do about it, why this decision was made.

1. Regarding your answer. Unfortunately, I do not have all the contact options available like live chat. Only ways to contact support seems to be e-mail and phone. Using general Google support e-mail the answer was again that they do not handle suspensions and do not know why such a decision was made.

However, support person recommended me to follow this procedure:
"I'd really just recommend following the procedure:

1) Read through the AdWords Terms and Conditions to make sure you are not violating any rules

2) If you think you have fixed all possible violations, appeal to the team once again and provide as much explanation as possible

3) If the appeal fails you can of course start a new AdWords account and try with payment methods that are 100% compliant to our terms and conditions"

Of course, I read through the terms & conditions and found out that I was not breaking any specific rules. Secondly, I removed the potentially risky pre-paid card and have already used the "suspension appeal" form multiple times, explaining my situation, but all the time its the same negative answer. Thirdly, the claim that you can start a new AdWords accounts is completely false. I tried to start a Adwords account without attaching the potentially risky pre-paid card to it and it got suspended couple of days later, because the account was associated with a already suspended account.

2. Second time I sent a message to Billing support and I immediately received again a standard message that my account is under review. This time the review took place much longer, usually I have received a negative answer withing 1-2 days, and after 6th day I decided to contact them to ask how is the review going. The answer came shortly after my message and again was negative.

3. Accessing the contact option page again, it seems like Google is slowly eliminating all the ways I could contact them. Previously there were e-mail and phone support, but now when I navigate through e-mail support categories they all lead to Google help pages not to contact forms. Of course, except phone support.

Bottom line:
What should I do in this situation when I receive negative replies to everything, but the facts are clear that I did not break any rules of terms & conditions? In addition, the suspension reason was clearly for suspicious payment behavior and, according to this help article ( https://support.google.com/adwords/troubleshooter/7032604) "Your account can be suspended if we see suspicious behavior in your payment activity such as using a stolen credit card.". It is reasonable rule. I understand I was initially suspended by a filter, because my payment method may have been unusual. The problem is the review process where "team of specialists" clearly have not made a right decision. Unfortunately I suspect it might be for following reasons:
- Team of specialist cannot verify on their own that I own the card. They would need to contact me & ask details, but clearly it is not beneficial for Google to go through this trouble when the amounts my business spends in Adwords are not significant.
- There never has been a real review process or it has been extremely superficial. The idea is that the accounts that the filter automatically suspends are like 90% real frauds and maybe like 10% legit. For bigger legit accounts Google is willing to investigate the issue & for smaller legit accounts the risk is just not worth the trouble, because the spend is insignificant.

Also, the most surprising thing about the whole situation is that if suspension for suspicious payment details equals " seeing suspicious behavior in your payment activity such as using a stolen credit card." Then how Google can bill $584.88 from that card that Google itself considers so suspicious that this and all the other future advertising accounts from me are always being suspended? If Google is so sure about the risk, then why would you bill a fraudulent card?

Again, I am just hoping to give you a bigger picture about my situation, so do you have any advice for me?

Thanks a bunch,
jan

Adwords Identified suspicious behavior in the payment activity

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Jan,

 

Have you been able to resolve the issue? If yes, please explain how.

 

I have been the victim of same Google policies, and am sure there are thousands of others out there.

 

Regards,

Nadir

Adwords Identified suspicious behavior in the payment activity

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hey,

 

I have to admit I have not resolved the issue. Like I mentioned in my previous, very detailed post, the situation is kind of dead-end and the whole situation risk vs reward makes it quite obvious for Google not to care and ignore the issue.

 

Meanwhile I tried opening another account, a specific business account that had all the different contact info, billing method & billing details. Only thing that was same between the new and suspended account was the computer and IP it was created with. 

 

New account survived surprisingly long, like 2-3 weeks and I even managed to spend $50 on it, but eventually it still got suspended for being " associated with suspended account".

 

So, the support person advice consisting of "3) If the appeal fails you can of course start a new AdWords account and try with payment methods that are 100% compliant to our terms and conditions" is also not the solution.

 

Best of luck to you Nadir in solving the issue.

 

I am sure I would have eventually solved the issue if I really wanted to, but for me it was just not worth the effort.