PayPal is holding my money for 180 days

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Feb 7, 2019
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#1
I recently began using a PayPal account which was created years ago, but never used. I was transferred money and successfully made 2 withdrawals, but third and final one was blocked. This whole ordeal took a couple weeks of phone calls and numerous attempts to verify my account after speaking to several employees over many phone calls. At various stages I was told with uncertainty, and the utmost of certainty that my account would be unlocked after performing the most recent verification. When finally my bank and credit card statements were provided (the supposed final verification) I was told the account was being locked and my funds held for 180 days. I was told it was irreversible and the only reason I was given was that I had been assessed as a “risk” by the “back office” team. When I asked to speak with someone in the department I was told they don’t speak with customers and my only recourse was to file a subpoena.

I am writing to see what recourse I have. The hold was placed at the end of January and is set to be lifted on July 25th.
 
Feb 7, 2019
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#3
I emailed the 4 executives I found on your website and have received no response and before that I found another source with dozens of related individual and department email addresses related to PayPal and also recieved no response from that. The initial email was sent Jan 31 and the executive emails were sent Feb 3.
 
Feb 7, 2019
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#5
I sent this email to only the first executive email listed on your website:

Hi Shawn,

I would like to begin with an apology...I wrote you earlier regarding my funds being locked for 180 days and at the time was still quite frustrated with the situation, and I know it came through in that email.

My name is Matt and my request is simple. I would like to withdraw the money to my bank account as soon as possible.

I made two successful withdrawals during a business trip to Atlantic City (I am a poker player and there was a big tournament there), but the third was blocked.

I used PayPal attempting to help a friend who didn’t bring enough cash, but in the end the $4,500 got stuck in the account and I found myself not having enough to play, so I had to end my trip early.

Over several days before leaving I spoke to numerous PayPal employees over the phone and did my best to accommodate each of their attempts to verify my account. After being told it was locked permanently by a back office decision, and that I could not communicate to anyone who was part of that decision making process, I felt helpless and frustrated and returned home.

I frantically searched the internet and found an article written by a person with a similar grievance and I mostly copied what he had done. I mentioned contacting various agencies regarding the issue and wrote aggressively, but I wish for none of that and just want access to my money.

I am home in the US for a brief time before going back to my wife and her son in Thailand. I am here to play poker and earn money to prepare for their first visit to the United States later this year.

This $4,500 is a large portion of all our money currently and having it would be very helpful during this process.

My case # is PP0xxxxxxxxxxx

Any assistance you can offer Shawn would be seriously appreciated...

Again, I apologize for my initial email and I thank you for your time,

Matt Bxxxxxx

Edited by a moderator to remove last name and case number
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Feb 7, 2019
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#6
My interactions over the phone have been limited to being told I was assessed as a risk by a department I was not able to have contact with, that no further explanation was available, and that I had no recourse other than filing a subpoena because the decision is irreversible.

Is this even legal, and do I have any recourse with governmental agencies or any other related groups, this forum included?

I will definitely wait and hope for a response to this email, as well as send another to each of the following 3 executives listed on your website weekly on the next 3 Wednesdays as you recommenced, but given the nature of my interactions so far with the company, I am not too optimistic to even get a reply...
 
Sep 12, 2018
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#7
You mentioned going, “back to Thailand” in your email to the executive. Are you depositing and withdrawing money in different countries? I’m not an expert, but it’s possible that you’re running afoul of laws designed to prevent tax evasion or money laundering, especially if the amounts in question are larger. Please understand: I’m not saying that you’re doing anything illegal, but if PayPal thinks you might be, they’ll never outright accuse you of illegal behavior, but they also probably won’t budge.
 
Apr 3, 2016
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#9
You seem to imply that the source of the money is gambling winnings. This is probably a red flag. Who is sending the money? That could also be a red flag. Gambling is known as an enterprise for both laundering money and for organized crime and sometimes less that savory characters. If the money was won from an official casino, there would be paperwork filled out to report it to the US government for tax purposes (and I do not think they would pay via paypal). If the money was won from a less “official” game/source that could be the issue.
 
Mar 14, 2018
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#10
Paypal's terms allow you to escalate a dispute first to their legal department and then to an independent arbitrator. Paypal pays the fees for this. Paypal would then need to demonstrate that it has a reasonable basis for freezing your account. You start the process by sending them a Notice of Dispute.

You should treat this as a last resort as, if you decide to go this route, Paypal may not be willing to do business with you in the future (although I can't imagine why you would want to after this incident.)
 
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Neil Maley

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#11
You seem to imply that the source of the money is gambling winnings. This is probably a red flag. Who is sending the money? That could also be a red flag. Gambling is known as an enterprise for both laundering money and for organized crime and sometimes less that savory characters. If the money was won from an official casino, there would be paperwork filled out to report it to the US government for tax purposes (and I do not think they would pay via paypal). If the money was won from a less “official” game/source that could be the issue.
This could be the issue. PayPal has to monitor accounts for odd money coming in and out of accounts. They are responsible for money laundering and fraud on money coming into the account as well as money going out.

If the funds are from gambling - you need to get special permission (only speculating based on what you said) this is what PayPal shows in their terms:


Activities involving gambling, gaming and/or any other activity with an entry fee and a prize, including, but not limited to casino games, sports betting, horse or greyhound racing, fantasy sports, lottery tickets, other ventures that facilitate gambling, games of skill (whether or not legally defined as gambling) and sweepstakes, if the operator and customers are located exclusively in jurisdictions where such activities are permitted by law.
Please send contact information, business website URL and brief business summary to aup@paypal.com



Since we can only give you the PayPal contacts and can advocate because they will not respond to us, I’m going to close this thread.

If you get any more information that is relevant or PayPal reopens the account, let us know and we can re-open this for your update.
 
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