There are many reasons why you might want to keep your personal details down when you send money. Maybe you want to surprise someone but don’t want them to know it’s you. Or maybe you feel more comfortable donating without having your name advertised. Whatever your reason, you’ll be glad to know that there are tons of ways to contribute without anyone knowing it’s you—and we’ve listed them all here.
[Edit]things you should know
- Ask a third party to deliver the cash for you, or go to the recipient’s bank to have the cash deposited directly into their account.
- Send money as a prepaid debit card or gift card to hide your identity.
- Use a different email and pseudonym when creating accounts on online payment apps like Venmo, Cash App and Zelle to send money anonymously.
- Make an anonymous donation by asking to keep your name unspecified or by donating through a donor-recommended fund.
- Using cash is a surefire way to ensure that you remain anonymous. Simply delivering a wad of cash to the desired recipient is the method that will probably give you the most anonymity. Go a step further and have someone you trust deliver it on your behalf. That way, there’s no trace of a transaction you ever made.
- Placing cash in an envelope and leaving it for the recipient poses a high risk of your money being stolen. Keep this in mind and make sure cash is delivered to a secure location, such as a locked mailbox.
[Edit]bank account deposit
- Ask the bank to deposit cash directly into the recipient’s account. All you need is the recipient’s full name and bank account number. Go to the bank where the other person has an account and ask the teller to deposit your cash directly with them.
- Some banks have restrictions on depositing cash into other people’s accounts, as handling cash can lead to fraud, so double-check with the bank that this is an option.
- Use wire transfers to transfer large amounts of money. Go to your bank and ask to initiate a wire transfer, or use a non-bank transfer provider such as Western Union. To send money, provide your government-issued ID, your funding source (credit card, debit card, bank account, or cash), the recipient’s name and address, and the recipient’s bank account information (bank name, bank address, account number, and routing number).
- While sending money via wire transfer does not ensure anonymity, it is a secure and fast way to send large amounts of money.
- Buy money orders using cash and send it anonymously. Use cash to buy money orders at your local post office, grocery store, pharmacy or convenience store. When you fill out your money order, simply write a pseudonym in place of your name.
- Use a fake address as well, but know that if your money order can’t be delivered for some reason, it won’t be returned to you.
- The limit for a money order is $1,000.
- To deliver your money order to your recipient, either ask someone you trust or leave it in a safe place for the recipient, such as a locked mailbox.
[Edit]mobile payment services
- Use a different email for apps like Venmo, Zelle, and Cash App. When signing up for online payment services and apps, you’re usually asked to provide an email and phone number to get started. For this step, just use an email address that doesn’t include your name in order to anonymize you.
- For some apps, like Venmo, you have the option of changing your name to a pseudonym in the app’s settings.
- You will still need to enter your bank account and card information along with your legal name, but your display name can usually be changed.
- Keep in mind that whoever you are sending the money to may be a little wary of accepting your anonymous gift. To them, it may look like a scam or phishing attempt.
- If sending money to another person is more important than maintaining your anonymity, it’s probably best to use your real information and name.
[Edit]paypal business account
- Upgrade to a PayPal Business account to use a fake name. When you sign up to create a personal account on PayPal, you need to use your real name. However, using a business account lets you choose whatever name you want. To get started, simply go to your current PayPal account settings and select “Upgrade to a business account.”
- First create a new email address that doesn’t contain your name and link it to the business account.
- PayPal will ask for your full legal name when you register, but your business name can be whatever you want. This is what will appear when you send money.
- You don’t need to have an existing personal PayPal account to set up a business account.
- Sending money to someone from a fake business may look suspicious. It is possible that the recipient may not want to accept your money for fear of fraud.
- If getting the money to the other person is your priority, consider using your personal account with only your real information.
- Load money onto a prepaid debit card and get it delivered anonymously. Visit your bank or credit union to get one of these cards. They work just like regular debit cards for the most part. The recipient can use it to buy things, pay bills and withdraw money from ATMs. The best thing? Your name and information is nowhere on the card. Ask someone you trust to deliver the card for you, or leave it in a safe place (such as their private office or a locked mailbox) for the recipient to find.
- Some cards may have a fee for activation and for using it to withdraw money from an ATM.
- Some prepaid cards are reloadable, which means you can load more money into them once the balance reaches 0.
- Buy a gift card and send it anonymously. Closed-loop gift cards are the type you’re probably more familiar with. These are the ones you buy from a specific store, restaurant or any other retailer and can only be used to buy from that specific location. Open-loop cards are more like prepaid debit cards, but they can’t be used to withdraw money from ATMs.
- An example of an open-loop gift card is the Visa gift card. Buy one of these cards online or in person at your local grocery store.
- Some open-loop gift cards now come with the ability to load more money onto them when they expire.
- Either have someone else deliver the gift card on your behalf or leave it in a safe place for the recipient to find.
- Ask your bank teller for a blank check that does not have your name on it. Go to the bank where you have your account and ask for a blank or “provisional” check. Depending on how your bank prints them, the check may come with your account number and routing number at the bottom and a blank space in the upper left corner to write your name. In this case, enter a pseudonym.
- Some banks may give you some free temporary cheques, although it’s more common that you have to pay for them.
- You still have to sign the check at the bottom.
- Ask to keep your name anonymous when donating. Making anonymous donations to charitable organizations is not uncommon. If you are donating in person, please ask an organization worker to keep your name anonymous. Another option is to give through a donor-advised fund that will make your contribution on your behalf.
- A quick Internet search for Donor-Advised Funds near you will provide you with a list of organizations to choose from.
- GoFundMe has an option to hide your name from the public. This means that your name will not be seen by other people on the fundraising page. However, for security reasons, you will not remain 100% anonymous. Your name will still be passed on to the organizer and beneficiary. Before donating, check the option that says “Do not display name publicly on campaign” under the Donation Amount and Name fields.
- When donating, you must enter your name exactly as it appears on your credit card. Your donation may be refunded if you use a different name.
- Personal information is more easily hidden using crypto. Many people use cryptocurrency for its anonymity. Using a pseudonym is very easy when paying with cryptocurrency. Keep in mind, however, that your transaction information may still be publicly recorded on that currency’s blockchain. This may include the transaction amount and your wallet address.
- To stay anonymous when sending and receiving cryptocurrency, use a logless VPN to make it more difficult for others to discover your identity.
- Another way to strengthen your anonymity is to change your virtual wallet address every time you make a transaction.
- Receiving money from an unknown sender can be viewed as highly suspicious, and the person you’re trying to send money to may not accept it if they don’t know where it came from.
- If sending money is more important than maintaining your anonymity, consider using your real information and name to ensure that the recipient receives the money.
- Never write a check or money order using someone else’s name and signature, as this is considered forgery.
- Don’t mail cash or leave it out in the open. The chances of it getting stolen are very high. Instead, deliver it to a secure location like a locked mailbox, or have someone deliver it directly to the recipient.