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If you want to pay for something anonymously on the internet, you can use a prepaid gift card. It will generally be accepted just like a credit card (though there do seem to be exceptions). It doesn't require registering your address or SSN. Or at least not in the case of Vanilla Visa (they require, IIRC, a name and zip code, but there's nothing preventing you from faking those). You can't refill it, so you'll have to keep paying for new ones if you intend to do it a lot, but I guess that's the price.



You got lucky. Most sites won't let prepaid gift cards go through. For example, neither Amazon nor PayPal, IIRC. Vanilla Visa was exactly the one I had, that ran into the problem, and I'd even put in my name and ZIP on their web site.

The problem seemed to be the lack of a billing address -- what are you supposed to put? Nothing worked. On another site that processed their credit cards via PayPal, it didn't work either. I called PayPal customer service and they explicitly told me they don't support cards that don't provide a means to verify a valid billing address and 3-digit security code.


Every time I get a VISA prepaid gift card, I simply buy an amazon gift card with it. I've never had any problems doing this.

Now, it's not like I don't have other identifiable information on my amazon account (a real credit card, a previously used shipping address, etc), so it's not anonymous, but they do accept prepaid cards.


Hm. I just used an arbitrary address consistent with the zip code. But I must admit that though it's worked in most of the cases I've tried, I have no idea what fraction of online merchants take such things in general.




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