Paypal requests I remove a 'donate' button

I maintain a site for an Australian doctor, where he documents and writes about various drug interactions.

For years like many folk he has had a Paypal button asking for donations towards the cost of maintaining the site, but the site is free in that all pages are public, there is no pressure to pay before getting information.

He has today forwarded a message from Paypal, I note that the paragraph I have underlined is back to front, also there are two grammatical errors and I wonder if this email is real, or just a spoof of some sort. After all most of the Open Source software writers I know have donate buttons on the their site, and most are hoping to profit I suspect.

[I]Hello Dr *** *******,

We have received your infomation. Thank you for your cooperation.

Due to legal and regulatory constraints, PayPal Australia Pty Limited is
unable to process donation for non-registered charities and non-profit

In order to continue with resolving the issue, please remove the PayPal
Donate Button and all donation wording from your website. You may replace
other PayPal buttons (Buy Now, Shopping Cart, or Subscription buttons) with
the Donate Button.

To remove a PayPal Payment button from your website, you will need to
delete the button HTML code that you pasted on to your site.

Delete the PayPal text between the following tags:




Once code has been deleted, the button will no longer appear.

Once you have completed the above steps, please let us know when this is
completed by emailing us at

We appreciate your patience and thank you for your help in making PayPal
the safest and most trusted online payment solution.

PayPal Compliance Department
PayPal, an eBay Company[/I]

Any thoughts?


No reply from

I asked the Dr. to forward me the email he first received, it never got to me since my host company apparently bounced/rejected it. I’ve decided to leave the donate button there for now and await further developments.

I’ve never seen that type of email address from PayPal. The best thing to do is to write their support or forward the email to If it’s legitimate, they’ll let you know.

  1. Do not change the subject line.
  1. Forward the entire email to Do not forward the
    message as an attachment.
  2. Delete the email from your inbox.

Did you do all of those steps?

Just received a reply from which I’ll copy below. As you’ll see it is a boiler plate response and makes no attempt to answer my question.

I sent my query Sept 14th, they replied Oct 1st… Gets them 1 out of 10 for customer service! (the 1 is for replying, the missing 9 is for it being a useless reply :wink:

So I’m no wiser. I have tried going to the to see if I can get Australia specific details about their donate button, but although I get to the homepage as soon as I click on a menu option I get redirected to the Canadian site (a logical programming decision in a way, I’m in Canada, but not what I need)!

If anyone reads this from an Australian IP address can you please pop by their site and copy/paste the Australia donate button terms here so I can read them?

Thank you very much,

Dear Colin McCubbin,

Thank you for contacting PayPal.

An unauthorized transaction is a transaction sent from your PayPal
account without your permission.

Please contact us as soon as possible if you suspect that someone has
made an unauthorized transaction using your PayPal account. PayPal
provides 100% protection against unauthorized payments sent from your

Here’s how to report an authorized transaction:

  1. Log in to your PayPal account.
  2. Click “Resolution Center” near the top of the page.
  3. Click “Dispute a Transaction.”
  4. Select “Unauthorized transaction: I did not authorize a recent
    transaction.” and click “Continue.”
  5. Follow the steps to report the transaction.

Here’s how to report an unauthorized transaction if you can’t log in to
your PayPal account:

  1. Go to and click “Security Center” at the top of the
  2. Click “Start an unauthorized transaction claim” under “Report a
  3. Click “Continue” under “Unable to log in?”
  4. Review the information about unauthorized transactions and click
  5. Complete the report. Select the types of unauthorized changes that
    have been made to your account. If there haven’t been any unauthorized
    changes, select “Other” and enter “No Changes.” Click “Preview.”
  6. Check the box declaring that the information you’ve provided is
    true, and then click “Submit.”

We may also ask you to enter some account information to confirm that
you own the account. Enter the information and click “Continue.”

If you receive suspicious emails, please forward them to us. Here’s how
to send us suspicious emails:

  1. Do not change the subject line.
  2. Forward the entire email to Do not forward the
    message as an attachment.
  3. Delete the email from your inbox.

We review this information carefully. We can usually let you know the
results of our review within 3 business days.

PayPal Account Review Department
PayPal, an eBay Company

I agree, the simplest solution is to contact Paypal for confirmation that it is a fake email.

Thanks folks…

I’ve contacted paypal and am awaiting their reply. I’ll post the response here if I ever get one.

Although the Dr. / recipient of any funds is in Queensland, Australia, I’m in Canada and I host the site in the USA…

What will happen if you don’t remove the donation button?

Interesting, have you tried to email ?

Looks legit. I didn’t know Paypal Aus has this policy. I see the Paypal Donation button from other blogs and its been there like forever.

According to Paypals AU user agreements, “donations” can only be made to authorised recipients and to charities/non-profits (that is authorised by Paypal themselves).

If the email is bodefide it looks as if you’ve been picked up on a technicality as they’re suggesting using another button type.

I’m sure if you contact Paypal about the issue they will put you straight.