I'm sorry this happened to you It is pretty common for them to ask for a fax to validate ID from what I've seen.Suspension due to international relocation:
Hi all, I wonder if my situation is so uncommon, or if I just didn't see any other mention of it.
To summarize, I've last used MTurk back in 2007 (no typo, 12 years ago), and decided to get back into the fray. Upon login, I learn that my account was suspended - nothing else. Ireviewed my last few email from MTurk from 12 years ago, nothing negative. But I do have a suspicion: I used to live in the US, moved to Europe for a few years, and then returned to the USA. My Amazon shopping account moved with me, so to say, with foreign shipping address, payment address, etc. I immediately think the suspension is related to that.
Thanks to this forum, I write to the official worker help address. A couple days later, I get the following response:
We were unable to validate important details about your Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) account. As a result, your account has been suspended pending additional verification. At this time, we need you to verify your identity so we can reinstate your account.
In order to verify your identity, please send us a copy of your driver’s license or an equivalent government issued Identification Document (ID). You can provide your ID by sending a scanned copy to our secure fax line at 1-xxx-xxx-xxxx. In addition, please be sure to type or clearly print the following information at the top of the document to help us identify you:
-- Your first and last name
-- The email you use to log into your MTurk Worker account
Once we receive and validate this information, we will proceed with reinstating your account. Please note that if we are unable to verify your identity, you will not able to disburse your current earnings balance or otherwise participate in the MTurk marketplace.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you and we appreciate your patience with our security measures. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this process, please email us using the Contact Us form on our Worker website:
Seems like my hunch was right; either they started verifying ID some time in the last 12 years, or they have noticed something unusual (legitimately switching my country of residence.) I find this noteworthy for two reasons:
- First, there is "nothing bad" I did; everything was completely justified and permissible. (Moving abroad is permissible a long as you update your information, not using MTurk for 12 years is permissible, why not.) Also, their need is justified, they didn't have my ID, and they wanted it. STILL, they did not say this out right, just "Account is suspended".
- Second, I never logged in or even tried to work HITs while living abroad (was busy enough). Still, the account was suspended, which means either a) Amazon acted on the information from my Prime Account, or b) Amazon just suspended my account without any notice when it started identifying people.
Lastly, I find it peculiar that the only way to reinstate the account is to FAX a document. I mean come on, who still has access to a fax? I will have to go to a copy shop and fax from there.
Bottom line: Even if you and Amazon both acted perfectly legitimate (here, not having an ID on file), the suspension is still done without any explanation of the reason. I understand the rationale for doing so if it is about policy violations, but in this case, they simply didn't have my ID on file. They could've just told me that.
See you later - I go search a fax machine now.
https://faxzero.com/ is a good option to fax from home if you are able to scan a copy of your documents.