5 Walmart scams to protect yourself from

Guy Bauman

January 28, 2024

  • # Payment Protection
  • # Phishing Protection
  • # Fraud Prevention

Walmart serves hundreds of millions of customers weekly, making it one of the world’s most influential retailers. But that means it’s a powerful avenue for scammers. 

Walmart scams are widespread and varied, and it can be hard to tell what’s real and what’s fraud. As a conscious consumer, you should know what to look for to keep your data and money out of the wrong hands. 

Here’s everything you need to know about how Walmart scams work, how to protect yourself from them, and what to do if you think it’s happened to you.

How do Walmart scams work? 

There’s no one type of Walmart scam, but all of the tactics criminals use have a similar goal: to rob you of your money or identity. In most cases, a scammer tries to impersonate Walmart to get that information from you.

Common tactics Walmart scammers use include: 

  • Phishing: A person poses as a Walmart employee, sending seemingly believable messages that are really an attempt to phish for personal or financial information.

  • Gift card scams: A defrauder manipulates you into buying a Walmart gift card for them.

  • Giveaways: A scammer convinces you that you’ve won a Walmart giveaway or gotten a job as a pretext for asking for personal information. 

5 common Walmart scams to watch out for

Walmart scammers often target potential victims using text and email, so stay alert and don’t respond to any messages that seem suspicious. Avoid falling into the trap by looking out for these popular scams:

1. Walmart email scams

In this scam, defrauders send emails that appear to come from Walmart — the message will usually bear the company’s logo and branding colors. The fake Walmart email may claim you’ve won a giveaway, you need to update your login information, or there’s a problem with a recent order. 

Clicking on a link in one of these emails can transport you to a site that takes your personal data or Walmart login credentials. The scammer behind the email can then use your data to impersonate you or spend your money. And in a worst-case scenario, this opens the door for identity theft.

2. Walmart delivery scams

In Walmart delivery scams, criminals send a text update about a recent order, either posing as the retailer itself or a courier service like UPS or FedEx. The text will claim that there’s a problem with the order and tell you to click on a link to update information or pay fees. 

There’s no issue with your order. This is a smishing — SMS phishing — scam. When you click the link, it will take you to a website that steals your data. If there really is a problem with your order, it’ll come from a legitimate source.

3. Walmart gift card scams

In some Walmart gift card scams, a criminal posing as a government employee, like an IRS agent, will contact you and ask you to buy a gift card to cover an overdue payment. The sender will threaten you with consequences like fees or jail time to get you to act quickly.

In other gift card scams, people offer stolen or empty Walmart gift cards online at an affordable rate. While a tempting offer, if you purchase one of these cards, you’ll have paid for a gift card that doesn’t work or has no balance. The scammer keeps your money, and you won’t have anything to show for it.

Scammers often ask for gift cards because they’re a fairly unregulated payment method, and the funds are hard to track and replace. If you fall victim to one of these scams and unwittingly load up a gift card with funds for a scammer, it’ll be a challenge to get your money back or help the issuer find the person behind the fraud. That’s why it’s so important to watch out for.

4. Walmart online survey scams

If you get an email from Walmart asking you to complete a survey in exchange for a gift card, it could be real. But some of these messages are phishing attempts, so proceed with caution. 

Scammers might create an email, text, or web pop-up that looks and sounds like a real one about a survey from Walmart, but the questionnaire is bogus. It’s really a form intended to take your personal information. Before filling it out, cross-reference the source to see if it’s really from Walmart, and don’t give any information if you aren’t confident.

5. Walmart secret shopper scams

Working as a secret shopper for Walmart might sound like an enjoyable gig, but this job doesn’t exist. If you get a message about Walmart mystery shopper work, it’s part of a scam. The person behind that message will likely try to get you to provide personal information, send you a fraudulent check to cash, or ask you to buy gift cards for them. 

What to do if you fell for a Walmart scam

Walmart scammers can be very good at their jobs, creating realistic-looking emails, job offers, and websites to get victims to fall into their traps. If you’ve accidentally fallen for a Walmart scam, you’re not alone — and that means there are already steps in place to stop scammers.

When you realize you’re part of a scam, here’s what to do:  

  1. Contact onlineabuse@walmart.com to alert Walmart of the problem.

  2. If you have a Walmart account, change the passwords or delete it entirely.

  3. Contact your bank to explain the situation and change your banking passwords.

  4. Monitor your accounts and cards for suspicious activity.

  5. Block and report people who send fraudulent texts and emails.

  6. Report the fraud to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

  7. Fortify your data safety and privacy by getting IronVest and adding biometric authentication to your accounts.

How to protect yourself from Walmart scams

Even if you know what signs to look out for, it’s still possible to fall for a Walmart scam. Take the following precautions to tighten up your digital privacy and protect your data: 

  • Use biometric authentication: When you shield your accounts with biometric authentication instead of just a typical username and password, you ensure that only you can enter these spaces. Even if a cyber criminal gets hold of your data, they won’t be able to log in. 

  • Never click links or download documents: Legitimate companies, like Walmart, won't ask you to click on links in texts or emails or download documents. If you receive an email asking you to update your payment information by clicking a link or downloading a file, be wary. Chances are, the link will take you to a site that steals your personal information, or the file will put data-grabbing malware on your computer. Instead, contact Walmart directly, and if the issue is real, they’ll tell you.

  • Never purchase gift cards for or from people you don’t know: Government agencies will never ask you to cover payments with gift cards, so if you get a message to this effect, it’s a scam. If you want to purchase a legitimate gift card as a present for yourself or a loved one, buy it directly in a store and keep the receipt in case the card has been tampered with. 

  • Only take legitimate Walmart surveys: Walmart may invite you to share your opinion at survey.walmart.com at the bottom of a receipt or in an email from their legitimate survey team. The company might also help you enter a sweepstakes for an actual Walmart gift card, too. But if you get a text or social media message asking you to complete a survey, it’s a scam — Walmart does not use these platforms to contact people about surveys. 

Become a savvy shopper with IronVest

Whether you’re shopping with Walmart or another retailer, putting the right precautions in place can help you protect your data and feel at ease. Start with IronVest.

When you use IronVest to keep your accounts safe and personal information private, even a seasoned cyber criminal will have a tough time getting your data. You’ll protect your accounts with biometric authentication, use a virtual credit card for online shopping, and enjoy anonymous email addresses that prevent criminals from getting your real contact information and using it to create accounts in your name or sign in to existing accounts as you. Try it today.

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