7c527a4da13bcba56a2e0232924c2f2c743619f7
By:
BeanJr

Question regarding verification and account locks

July 29, 2016 814 views
DigitalOcean Security

Hi,

I've been doing some research on the whole "my account is locked" horror stories and Ive heard more bad than good from a lot of people not being able to get their accounts back.

I've been a paying member since January (I believe) and haven't had any issues yet. What does support ask for in terms of ID? Would I be able to attach photo ID to the support ticket?

While the account is locked, will my droplets still be running? This is EXTREMELY important since I'm running production systems on here and can't afford downtime (especially because I run my IP phone system on here)

I also heard that support gives another response along the lines of "we were not able to verify you and the hold on your account will be permanent".

These stories make it very discouraging for potential customers. I just need to know what I'd be facing in the event of this happening. I don't exactly have a website or a blog, but rather a YouTube channel. Will that be acceptable? I also have Twitter and Facebook for verification's sake.

If someone who is knowledgeable can reply with any helpful details that'd be great!

1 Answer

Hey! I can help clarify this process for you. We employ a number of systems to attempt to prevent fraud and misuse of our platform. While I cannot speak to the exact criteria these systems use I can provide you some general information on the process.

I've been a paying member since January (I believe) and haven't had any issues yet. What does support ask for in terms of ID? Would I be able to attach photo ID to the support ticket?

Most verification requests occur when an account is just created or when a new payment method is added. While it can be frustrating to add a credit card and immediately be asked for verification this often occurs because the new card or PayPal account that was added either was previously used on another account or if the additional information associated with the card raises a flag in our system (for instance, a user where all indications show they are in China suddenly providing a credit card with an address in Ohio).

If you are asked to verify your account you will likely be asked to provide a photo showing you, holding your government issued photo ID. This is to verify that the person contacting us is the same person specified on the payment method provided.

While the account is locked, will my droplets still be running? This is EXTREMELY important since I'm running production systems on here and can't afford downtime (especially because I run my IP phone system on here)

If an account is locked for verification by our automatic systems droplets on the account are not powered off and remain running. This lock only affects a user's control panel access and ability to create new droplets. A user's droplet will only be shut down as part of a verification if the verification is triggered manually due to a failure to respond to an abuse issue for an extended time.

I also heard that support gives another response along the lines of "we were not able to verify you and the hold on your account will be permanent".

This is the response our support team will provide in cases where abuse or fraud is suspected, we could not successfully verify the account (that the person we are talking to is the person on the payment method) or otherwise have found the account to be a very high risk.

A concern in this messaging is that choosing to tell people who are defrauding us exactly how we caught them doing it does not really help us to continue to prevent fraud on our platform, we are always working to maintain as much transparency around our processes as possible and can improve that in this messaging but it is a difficult balance to strike in this situation.

Obviously as a business we want as many people as possible using our services and paying us so making sure these policies keep out those looking to defraud us or abuse our platform while making the process as unobtrusive as possible when a legitimate user is flagged is our goal. Over the last year we have made significant improvements to the technical aspects of this process with the result that a smaller and smaller percentage of users require a verification.

  • Thank you so much for the reply. I'm sure this will be able to help me and others. However, isn't there a "form" that the customer would need to fill out detailing their name, address, website/blog, Facebook/twitter, etc? Or is this old news and you guys now do photo verification?

    • When an account is marked for verification our team will first ask for some basic details including those you mentioned. Often the verification can be completed without needing to move on to requesting an ID. There is no requirement that you have a specific item mentioned (like a facebook account or a website) but if you do it can help us complete the verification at that step and remove the hold on an account.

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