I tried to buy a few things from a particular industry, and the sellers are independently all asking for a copy of my drivers license to verify that it matches the details on the card because someone is telling them they need to do that. No secure portal, just some vague promises that it's for "verification", and they want me to send it via email. They say I am tripping their fraud protection software, or that their insurance company needs it, and that all the details need to match the ID. I am unfamiliar with this, and I have not had to do it in other transactions.
I've recently tried to place some pseudo-anonymous orders on the internet. I've done it before, and things went well. Use a VPN, use a prepaid gift card, make up a fake name, but use my real address. They made money, and I got stuff. Wins all around! Shipped directly to my door because it wasn't illegal or even shady. I live in a free state in the USA, and I'm currently trying to buy some legal parts for some legal things that I own. I stress the legal aspect because this is important, but leave the details out so people don't get sucked into a rabbit hole.
I prefer to keep things as anonymous as possible for a few reasons.
- Protect my identity.
- Limit exposure for the next data breech (you can't share what you don't know).
- Don't want to be in a database, tracked, profiled, etc.
I was able to get some details about what flagged their system, including a specific company (SignifyD) in the mix, and I'm quite surprised at why they balk (It wasn't the gift card). Given the political attention given to this industry, and that Mastercard, Paypal, and Stripe have decided to jump on the moral bandwagon, I think the industry is being forced to comply with onerous rules that only provide security theater, for sociopolitical reasons, not technical reasons.
Details that seem to trip "the system"
- IP address used to place the order is a known VPN endpoint
- Distance between VPN endpoint and ship-to location is very large
- SignifyD does not recognize the email address across their network/database or email addresses
From what I can tell online, neither a MasterCard or Visa merchant should be able to decline a transaction because someone refused to give them ID. The articles I found that were old, but the VISA cardholder agreement still says that. However, it also says in a face to face transaction. I'm not that familiar with their rules though.
- Can merchants require a copy of a photo ID?
- What regulations and protections are in place so the consumer doesn't get their details leaked/hacked when nontechnical people are getting a copy of confidential docs?
- Can an online merchant decline to process an order if you refuse to send you ID in plaintext to them, so that they can in turn send the details to a (usually unnamed) 3rd party for air quote "verification"?
Similarities / Not-duplicates
This question is very similar, but different enough that I feel it warrants a different question. Especially given that FROE (OP) seemed to be using their government name and details, whereas I am purposefully trying to obfuscate mine.
This question raises some of the privacy concerns to submitting your ID online, so I won't touch on them here.
Surprisingly, I didn't find many people complaining about this, but I did find this one: