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More Anonymity with Payments?

More Anonymity with Payments?

AkiraAkira Member
edited April 2012 in General

Do you guys have any idea how to keep more anonymity when paying for stuff online? PayPal knows our credit card number (of course), our name, our address... People use stuff like Liberty Reserve, but I couldn't really understand what that is, their website etc feels dodgy. I've also seen some people requesting AlertPay, is that any better than PayPal? Also what do you think about Bitcoins, even the concept feels completely bonkers to me. Also makes you waste electricity (from servers) and other resources for nothing, mining etc feels awkward. (I might be full of it, I didn't really understand how it works)

[insert lame-ass leb provider here]

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Comments

  • JacobJacob Member
    edited April 2012

    Bitcoins are dead, It used to be decent but now it is ruined with all the people with the huge mining bots running 24 / 7.

  • AdamAdam Member
    edited April 2012

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  • Why do you want to be anonymous when purchasing services online?

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  • Alertpay still will require a bank to transfer the funds.

    As I've said, if you're wanting to be 'off the grid' for a payment, just use a pre-loaded visa/etc. You can make the payment in cash at whatever near by grocery store.

    Francisco

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  • You need to use your ss number to get a prepaid card.

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  • The think is with on-line services you almost always have to give you personal details during sign up anyway so its not anonymous anyway, and I don't know of many hosts (none) that would be to happy about you trying to use anonymous payment and also give fake billing details, it just attracts trouble.

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  • @BassHost said: You need to use your ss number to get a prepaid card.

    Really? Guess it has changed since I last used one in the US. I know when I was there you could just give money, get card and roll.

    Fran

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  • laaevlaaev Member
    edited April 2012

    @Akira said: Do you guys have any idea how to keep more anonymity when paying for stuff online? PayPal knows our credit card number (of course), our name, our address... People use stuff like Liberty Reserve, but I couldn't really understand what that is, their website etc feels dodgy. I've also seen some people requesting AlertPay, is that any better than PayPal? Also what do you think about Bitcoins, even the concept feels completely bonkers to me. Also makes you waste electricity (from servers) and other resources for nothing, mining etc feels awkward. (I might be full of it, I didn't really understand how it works)

    I don't see why you are so paranoid about payments, you obviously have something to hide?

    PayPal is safe - they're an eBay company. They are PCI compliance. They aren't going to sell your information away.

    Liberty Reserve is like internet money, you can't pay with a card through LR. You can only get money from others, and you can only send to other LR users. You can't withdraw your funds, you would have to use an exchanger for that.

  • ZettaZetta Member

    @Francisco said: Really? Guess it has changed since I last used one in the US. I know when I was there you could just give money, get card and roll.

    That sounds more like a gift card than a reloadable prepaid card that @BassHost is talking about.

    When you find that perfect VPS, KEEP IT.

  • @FTN_Kevin said: I don't see why you are so paranoid about payments, you obviously have something to hide?

    Well, sometimes no.

    I don't have nothing to hide but myself, and sometimes I wish the same, anonymous services. But at the same time I agree with you, allowing that will attract troubles.

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  • justinbjustinb Member
    edited April 2012

    @Francisco said: As I've said, if you're wanting to be 'off the grid' for a payment, just use a pre-loaded visa/etc. You can make the payment in cash at whatever near by grocery store.

    Prepaid visa here (at least the two or three stores nearby), vendors don't accept credit cards due to chargeback risk so cash only, must show ID with purchase

    Postgres

  • @FTN_Kevin said: I don't see why you are so paranoid about payments, you obviously have something to hide?

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.

    MARTIN NIEMÖLLER

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  • As for Bitcoin; the idea that you have to mine bitcoins to use them is nonsense, mining and usage of bitcoins have literally zero to do with each other. In the core it functions like any other currency - you can get paid in bitcoins for work or goods, you can exchange it for other currencies, you can steal it (although I would definitely not recommend doing that). Consider the mining an unnecessary 'gimmick' and it will suddenly be a lot easier to understand Bitcoin, and a lot easier to get started with it. A good place to start is http://weusecoins.com/, they have some nice info. To get some to play around with and get used to it, have a look at https://freebitcoins.appspot.com/.

    Regarding verification of personal details; most hosting companies seem to use MaxMind fraud protection, which is quite aggressive. What you'll want to look for are hosts that do not use MaxMind or similar systems.

    Another good way to pay anonymously are PaySafeCard and UKash vouchers, although these will be harder to acquire when in the US (in that case, a prepaid CC would likely be a better option). In Europe, getting hold of UKash/PSC is trivial, and as long as you pay for them in cash you should be fine. A good index of potential hosts is https://cryptoanarchy.org/wiki/Anonymous_hosting - do keep in mind that some of these do use MaxMind, so unless you have a way to register from another IP that is not blacklisted, you should probably avoid those.

    I would be careful with any centralized 'online currency services' like AlertPay or Liberty Reserve (especially the latter as they have a very buggy system), as they leave you very little actual control over your funds, and they may be logging or requiring more information than you'd like. The risk of not having control also exists with prepaid vouchers such as UKash/PSC, however here you actually have physical proof that you are supposed to have it, whereas for a 100% online currency provider it's quite easy to magically make funds 'disappear'.

    The above is a guide for the rather paranoid, and less extreme measures may suffice :)

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  • Just to add to what joepie said, BTCPak lets you buy MoneyPaks (prepaid credit card numbers) with bitcoins. Of course, you still have to get bitcoins somehow, and short of mining them, you'll have to go through an exchange which will have your real name / banking details. There are mixing services, but I don't know how reliable they are.

    The basic flow would be your bank -> exchange -> your btc address -> mixing service -> another btc address -> btcpak (connecting via proxy) -> clean, anonymous, preloaded credit card number.

  • There are actually meeting sites that allow you to find people trading bitcoins for cash IRL. That would not require any personal info. They're on the Bitcoin wiki somewhere.

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  • @Francisco said: As I've said, if you're wanting to be 'off the grid' for a payment, just use a pre-loaded visa/etc. You can make the payment in cash at whatever near by grocery store.

    Yep, get a pre-loaded visa card. You shouldn't need an ID to buy a prepaid card with cash.

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  • There's no such thing as an anonymous visa. If the FBI wants to find who purchased it all they do is subpoena the video from the register it was purchased at. They will have a picture and unless you paid for it with cash then they'll have it tied to even faster rather than trying to identify a person.

    Funny thing is lately I'm seeing more paypal fraud orders than credit card fraud orders. I just love these lines. It's my late husband's account, my cousin's account, my baby sisters best friend's dog account.

    Then those who beg me to accept the transaction.. promising to not reverse the transaction later on.

  • Sainsbury's here are offering pre-paid Mastercards, I guess their the same thing as pre-paid Visa's?

    The Original Daniel.

  • lbftlbft Member

    @FRCorey said: There's no such thing as an anonymous visa.

    There's no such thing as complete anonymity, but that doesn't mean that some level of anonymity is unobtainable. If you're doing something really dodgy, of course you're going to be found as long as money changed hands. But the FBI isn't going to go after your blog on how much you love weed, or your non-violent pro- or anti-abortion website, or your website about how much working at Best Buy sucks, even though those are all things people might desire anonymity for.

    @FTN_Kevin said: I don't see why you are so paranoid about payments, you obviously have something to hide?

    Everyone has things in their life they don't want to share with everyone. Different people evaluate risk in life differently, and value different pieces of information over others. Some people worry about the security of their identity and try to limit the number of places critical (to them) information is kept.

    Plenty of people also have specific reasons for wanting anonymity - a crazy ex, stalkers, repressive governments, situations where family in repressive countries would be in danger if their identity were tied to their online activity, gay people in places where homosexuality is illegal or dangerous...

    My attitude is that your provider has all of your data anyway, so there's no point hiding from them. I can understand why some people are more cautious though, especially given the trustworthiness of some of the deadpoolers out there.

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  • DanielMDanielM Disabled

    @FTN_Kevin said: you obviously have something to hide?

    Fools like you give the go ahead for governments to spy on there people. This is there exact arguement. And ofcourse so-called terror. People want privacy nothing to hide from

  • @Daniel said: Sainsbury's here are offering pre-paid Mastercards, I guess their the same thing as pre-paid Visa's?

    No, it is better. Some VISAs dont have the security code, and all MasterCards have it.

  • GaryGary Member

    Yep, pre-paid cards are the way to go.

  • @Gary said: Yep, pre-paid cards are the way to go.

    the problem is that they need the SS number in the US, and in Mexico, your information...

  • InfinityInfinity Retired Staff

    @Gary said: Yep, pre-paid cards are the way to go.

    If only the actually worked round here, none of my local shops do it apart from one, that one that did have it wasn't able to activate the card so didn't give it..

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  • SpiritSpirit Administrator
    edited April 2012

    Paysafe card? I can buy it "everywhere", even in small "kiosc" on the street. This is almost completely anonymously as long I don't spend it on my home internet line. But finding online merchant willing to accept paysafe cards is another story. But they exist! example. https://zhangltd.net/ (familiar name in this url, a? :-)

  • BuzzPoetBuzzPoet Member
    edited April 2012

    @lbft Plenty of people also have specific reasons for wanting anonymity - a crazy ex, stalkers, repressive governments, situations where family in repressive countries would be in danger if their identity were tied to their online activity, gay people in places where homosexuality is illegal or dangerous

    Exactly right. It really gets tiring when people assume you must be up to no good when you desire anonymity. These are privileged middle class, heterosexual white males who have never been marginalized by society, bullied, abused by a family member or spouse.

    On a related note, there are plenty of web sites that claim to provide personal information about anyone that you search for. They get their data from publicly available sources like property tax returns. I submit it's only a matter of time before a stalker tracks someone down and murders them, thanks to one of these services. Privacy is a fundamental human right.

  • @DanielM

    We also frown upon pre paid cards. I mean this is so shady.

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  • othelloRobothelloRob Member
    edited April 2012

    We also frown upon pre paid cards. I mean this is so shady.

    Pre-paid cards in the UK are almost entirely used by 3 "types" of user * those with poor credit - as it allows cashless purchase in shops/online * those frightened of "surveillance" - sometime with good reason * those unwilling to use credit - for religious, or age related exclusions

    supposedly the cards are subject to similar issue requirements (called KYC or Know-Your-Customer) for the banks behind them - so proof of name, address etc

    If they were used for something dodgy, they can be tracked back easily enough.

    IME those looking to do something illegal (like deliberately hosting malware/phishing scams) we tend to see the use of legitimate cards/addresses etc, but just not their own details

  • DanielMDanielM Disabled

    @othelloRob said: Pre-paid cards in the UK are almost entirely used by 3 "types" of user

    Have you seen what the parliament are tryin to squeeze through to law rob?

  • @Spirit said: Paysafe card? I can buy it "everywhere", even in small "kiosc" on the street.

    Certainly, however the margins of PSC are dumb high - they take 5-20% depending on your volume.

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  • @DanielM asked: Have you seen what the parliament are tryin to squeeze through to law rob?

    Yes, and through LINX we've already seen several responses and challenges sent about the proposal.

    Sadly, the new bill is really only an issue of "clarifcation", as they already do all of that and more, just primarilyt on historical data at present

    But we're well aware that some connectivity providers are quite happy to hand over mirror/monitor ports to GCHQ without question

  • non reloadable cards in us at least don't require any information to buy and usually(metabank and us bank visa and master cards) can be registered online with any name and address or by phone (amex prepaid) they come in $25,50,100 and $20-500 denominations at most super markets and drug stores for face value plus 3.95,4.95,5.95,5.95 fee respectively.

  • @hayhayday said: non reloadable cards in us at least don't require any information to buy

    Yes. Look for the "Vanilla Visa" ones, they certainly don't and let you put in any info online.

    Another option if you're not looking for end-to-end anonymity and only want to obscure yourself from the payee is Entropay and their virtual CCs.

  • I would suggest using Liberty Reserve. If it is important for you then you should look it up how it works and you'll understand it. I was confused aswell when I started using Liberty reserve.

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