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Merchant account suspended: fishy email from google asking for data

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi there! I've been using the Google Merchant account for some time now as I use it to collect the earning from some games that are up in the Google Play Store.

A month or so ago I was asked to provide some more information about the account using the control panel: I quickly complied filling out this form

Soon I received a fishy email from checkout-merchant-support@google.com

Hello,

Thank you for your cooperation in our verification process. In order to continue with the verification process, we request you to provide us with the names and addresses for the chief key principals of your organisation. We define chief key principals as those individuals who have authority to operate a bank account or to give the firm instructions concerning the use or transfer of funds or assets.

We appreciate your cooperation in this matter and look forward to hear from you soon.

Sincerely,
The Google Checkout Account 

Asking for more information about the issue resulted in copy-pasted replies. Therefore I decided to ignore the email as it asked for the data I had just entered directly into my account.

 

Recently my account was suspended and my payments are on hold. Contacting google for more information resulted in the following reply from payments-support@google.com:

 

Hello Filipe V,

Thank you for contacting Google Wallet for Business. I’m happy to help resolve the payments hold on your account.
I checked your account and it looks like Google already sent an email requesting more information in order to verify your account. Kindly check the email address you've used to log in to your Google Wallet Merchant Center and respond to the email within 10 days. If you are having trouble locating the email, please fill out this form to complete the verification process.

Our specialists will contact you at the conclusion of their review. Account verification typically takes two to three business days after we receive all of the requested documents. Please note that you will need to complete the verification process to receive any future payouts.

Moving forward, to ensure that you receive important notifications from us, please add account-verification-noreply@google.com to your email address book.

Sincerely,
Kay
The Google Wallet for Business Team

 I dug out the older email (from account-compliance@google.com) and replied providing the additional information requested (here hidden, clear in the email)

[name], [surname]
[state], [ZIP code & province] - [city], [street], [address number]

 The folowing reply left me even more confused and suspicious

Hello,

Thank you for your email.

We received the details of Key principal. However, we request you to provide us a clear copy of Driver License or Passport Information of Key Principal, who operates the account or to give the firm, instructions concerning the use or transfer of funds or assets.

In addition to the above details, we request you to provide us your business type.

 

This asks for very personal information (previously not required) and some other data that I already entered in the form I filled out long time ago. Moreover it seems to me the information requested could be used to perform an account takeover against my will but then again, my payments are on hold and I do not know what to do.
 
Should I just trust this awfully fishy request or is there something smarter for me to do?
Thanks for your help!
 
2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Merchant account suspended: fishy email from google asking for dat

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
the following link should help explain google-checkout-merchant,
google-wallet, google-play, and selling digital goods (apps) --
https://support.google.com/checkout/sell/answer/3080449?hl=en

google may be contacted here --
https://support.google.com/checkout/sell/answer/3098749?hl=en#contact=1
be certain to emphasize exactly what types of apps are
being sold and for which devices (chome, android, etc.).

the google-merchant-center is for submitting physical inventory
information for creating google-adwords product-listing-ads and
adwords pay-per-click advertising.

unfortunately, this forum has nothing whatever to
do with google-merchant-accounts or selling apps.

Re: Merchant account suspended: fishy email from google asking for dat

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi, thanks for your reply!
I previously used google checkout but it has now been phased out and I was automatically moved onto google merchant.
Even from the Google Play Store developer control panel it links there so I'm fairly sure it is the right tool...

 

Also, I'm sorry if I am in the wrong forum, it seemed there were a few other questions relevant for the google merchant service. Unfortunately this was the closest thing I could find to a dedicated forum for google merchant. Sorry again.

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Filipe V
September 2015

Re: Merchant account suspended: fishy email from google asking for dat

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

first, you're welcome.

yes, google-checkout has been phased out --
the associated link explains the transition.
https://support.google.com/checkout/sell/answer/3080449?hl=en

yes, there are no longer dedicated forums
related to google-checkout-merchant.

the best likely course would be to contact google directly here --
https://support.google.com/checkout/sell/answer/3098749?hl=en#contact=1

this forum is related to advertising with adwords.

possibly try using the following resources to either help find
related solutions or to locate more direct contact information --
https://support.google.com/checkout/sell/
https://developers.google.com/checkout/
https://support.google.com/wallet/answer/3196956
https://support.google.com/googleplay/answer/3107761

this specific forum is for the merchant-center -- that is used to submit
inventory data for advertising product-listing-ads on google-shopping:
https://support.google.com/merchants/

there are two different and altogether distinct google services --
(1) google-merchant-center (accounts);
(2) google-merchant (accounts);
although these have very similar names -- these are very very different.

google-wallet can sometimes relate to a google-merchant-account;
google-play can sometimes relate to a google-merchant-account;
however, these are very different from a google-merchant-CENTER-account.

google merchant (accounts) have nothing to do with merchant-center (acounts).

google-merchant*center* (accounts) relate to adwords product-listing-ads data;
google-merchant*center* (accounts) have nothing to do with google-checkout;
google-merchant*center* (accounts) have nothing to do with google-wallet;
google-merchant*center* (accounts) have nothing to do with google-play;

a merchant-account relates to google-checkout, google-wallet and google-play;
google-merchant relates to google-checkout, google-wallet and google-play;

for google merchant-account issues, these resources may also be helpful:
https://support.google.com/checkout/sell/search?hl=en&query=%22merchant+account%22
"Moving forward, you’ll be able to access your merchant account at "
https://support.google.com/checkout/sell/answer/3080449?hl=en
https://support.google.com/wallet/search?hl=en&query=+%22merchant+account%22
https://support.google.com/wallet/answer/2677225?hl=en
https://support.google.com/wallet/contact/general_c2c?ctx=ef

Re: Merchant account suspended: fishy email from google asking for dat

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thanks! That did help me get the situation resolved.
Thanks a lot for this concentrated of information on the unholy mess that is google merchant-wallet-checkout accounts!
\(^__^)/

Re: Merchant account suspended: fishy email from google asking for dat

G
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
G
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Felipe,
I am having a similar problem. Could you please tell me what did you do in the end to resolve the issue and get your account working again?

Re: Merchant account suspended: fishy email from google asking for dat

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I simply complied to their requests.

It turned out it was legit even if ridiculously fishy Smiley Very Happy

Cheers,

Re: Merchant account suspended: fishy email from google asking for dat

G
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
G
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Filipe, and thank you for your lightning fast response. This really helps me a lot because I was so suspicious Smiley Happy I wish you all the best with your company and with your apps!

Re: Merchant account suspended: fishy email from google asking for dat

Community Manager
# 9
Community Manager
This thread is now closed to new responses since it has been resolved. If you have a new question, please start a new thread. If this post helped you, feel free to star it to give thanks to the OP!

Kathleen