Tampa man’s stimulus payment missing; can’t get answers from PayPal, IRS

Better Call Behnken

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – David Charles needs his $1,200 stimulus payment, but he can’t get a straight answer about where his money went.

“I’m starving because I need this money and no one cares,” Charles said.

The IRS website shows that his money was paid to his PayPal Mastercard, a prepaid card, on April 29, but the card shows no such payment, and customer service representatives have offered no answers, he said.

He says he activated the card for the sole purpose of obtaining his stimulus money faster than through a check. He does not have a bank account because of his low income and responded to a PayPal advertisement about getting stimulus money quickly.

“It takes an hour just to get someone on the phone and then they tell me, ‘There’s no money there. Check with the government. It’s not our problem, it’s yours,”” Charles said.

Charles, who suffers from chronic health issues and does odd jobs for a modest living, was struggling before the pandemic. Now, he has fewer jobs to do and even less money. He was hopeful the stimulus would make an immediate difference in his life.

“I was really counting on this money to be able to take care of some bills, get me some new shoes and stuff, and help me to get some transportation going,” Charles said.

After five days of waiting on hold for hours and getting no answers from PayPal or the IRS, Charles turned to Better Call Behnken.

8 On Your Side reporter Shannon Behnken reached a PayPal spokeswoman who promised to look into the situation and try to resolve it. Within hours, Charles received a call from the company that his money was on his card.

Although it is still unclear what went wrong, Charles couldn’t be happier.

“I am paying bills,” he said. “I am glad I don’t have to worry about this anymore.”

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