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PayPal Accidentally Credits an Account With $92,233,720,368,547,800

 10:43 am on Jul 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

Nice surprise, then big disappointment.

Online payments broker PayPal has admitted it erroneously credited a man with $92 quadrillion (60 quadrillion).

Chris Reynolds, 56, of Pennsylvania, found the amount when he opened his monthly statement.

But the error was quickly recognised and his account had returned to zero by the time he had logged in.PayPal Accidentally Credits an Account With $92,233,720,368,547,800 [bbc.co.uk]



 11:46 am on Jul 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

Seems only fair. I recently got a form letter from the people handling my student loan, informing me that their annual income-based payment calculations had been completed, and the new monthly amount was enclosed.

It wasn't. I looked carefully.

Nor was the amount named in a second, identical letter (I don't hit my mailbox every day) from the same entity.

However! A third and fatter letter included a routine monthly statement, complete with envelope and payment stub. According to this wholly automated communication, this month I owe $45,000.

Evidently they know something about my income that the bank isn't telling me.


 7:00 pm on Jul 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

It looks as if he was paid somebody's credit card number.

Reminds me of some of the bank "errors" that we had when I worked as a bank clerk over 40 years ago.

Account numbers for our customers' rates (property tax) were printed in three groups. Nothing to tell us that the data prep clerk needed to explictly type space characters. I filled in dozens of data prep forms with the characters as a single string. None of the payments were queried, just put on suspense and the ratepayers threatened with legal action for non payment 6 months later - and delayed my promotion by at least a year!

Clerk (not me) converted from GBP to CYP the wrong way around (unlike most currencies 1CYP > 1GPB). Ended up sending about 1000 too much to the customer's "lady friend" in Cyprus. She insisted she had received the correct amount of course - I was promoted to another branch so never found if we got the money back.

Transfer from a bank in South Africa for a customer's account. Name and account number correct. I credit the customer and put an advice in the post. Next day he is banging on the counter complaining about our "mistake" saying the money isn't his. Debit the account, put the money on suspense and write to the remitting bank. Send the customer a bank statement showing everthing is now OK. 48 hours later he's back in the branch demanding to know why we have taken away the money that his brother sent him from South Africa.

brotherhood of LAN

 7:11 pm on Jul 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

> paid somebody's credit card number.

Think it was a maths error tbh, as it's 2^63


 10:49 pm on Jul 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

it's 2^63

good call!


 2:26 am on Jul 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

The only reference I found that was very close to the number is in this code (from October 2002) posted in a PowerBasic forum --

'Number-to-words conversion French and English

'Work with positive and negative number
'Give 2 decimal result for cent
'Hyphen insertion between number that need it
'"S" are added when words are in the plural
'Range from minus -922,337,203,685,477 to 922,337,203,685,477 (922 trilions US)(922 billions French)
'Overflow return "Error" or "Erreur"

'Thank to the VB2TheMax Team
'Example: 123 will return "ONE HUNDRED TWENTY-THREE" or "CENT VINGT-TROIS"
INCR Level
IF Level = 1 THEN
IF Number < -922337203685477 THEN 'If number is to big it will revert to -922337203685478
NumberToWords = "ERROR"
Level = 0
complete source code at: [powerbasic.com...]

Is 2^63 a limit on certain hardware? I'm thinking maybe a mix of 64-bit machines and 32-bit machines running the same software caused it...


 10:02 am on Jul 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

Shame he didn't notice it straight away, transfer the money to an interest bearing account, then advise Paypal that his administration team are checking the error to establish where the funds have been sent, and that Paypal can expect repayment in approx 30 days...

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