October 4, 2023

Walmart scams: How to recognize & avoid them

Walmart scams: How to recognize & avoid them

Walmart scams don’t actually come from Walmart or Walmart employees — they come from scammers who use the company as a familiar disguise to trick their victims. Criminals use all kinds of mediums to perpetrate these ploys, and their goal is to get your personal information, which they can then use to steal your money.

According to a study by Check Point Research, Walmart topped the list of brands most likely to be used as phishing disguises in the first quarter of 2023. And according to our research, phone scams like these cost Americans $46 billion ($33 billion in call scams, $13 billion in text scams) in the first half of 2023 alone.

Walmart scams are popular and dangerous, so read ahead to learn how to recognize and avoid them.

5 Walmart scams to watch out for

Walmart scams come as phone calls, text messages, emails, or even messages on social media platforms. They may use different tactics, but most fall into one of many categories.

Watch out for these common Walmart scams in an effort to keep your phone, information, and privacy secure.

1. Gift card scams

Walmart gift card scams are messages that claim the recipient won a free Walmart gift card worth hundreds or thousands of dollars. In text or email form, the sender may encourage you to click a link and enter your login credentials or other personal information to claim your prize — unfortunately, that information goes directly to the scammer.

Gift card scams can be hard to identify because Walmart does hold quarterly sweepstakes in which winners receive gift cards as prizes. However, you would have to register for the sweepstakes online or by mail-in form to be eligible to win. Registration resets each fiscal quarter, so you could not possibly win a free gift card unless you’ve signed up within the last few months. If you have entered to win, contact Walmart to make sure the message is real.

2. Survey email and text scams

The Walmart survey scam goes hand in hand with gift card scams — customers must fill out a survey to enter the legitimate Walmart sweepstakes, and the prizes really are gift cards. However, Walmart will never reach out to you by text or email to spontaneously prompt you to take a survey or enter the sweepstakes. 

You can only enter the sweepstakes and take the Walmart survey by placing an order or visiting their website online, following the link printed on your receipt after an in-store purchase, or mailing in a postcard. Watch out for scammers who pressure you to click a suspicious link or give away personal details to be eligible to take the survey and win the prize. Walmart will never pressure you or ask for personal information.

3. Delivery phone scams

Like UPS and FedEx, Walmart is another prime target for scammers disguising themselves as delivery services. Walmart delivery scams are often done by text message, but they can also be done via phone call or email. Scammers pose as delivery drivers and ask for identifying information or claim that there are outstanding fees, requesting your payment details in order to complete the delivery.

Of course, Walmart will never charge additional fees or ask for personal information after a purchase has been made, and they will never intentionally withhold a legitimate delivery.

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4. Mystery shopper scam 

Certain scammers pose as Walmart employees and offer you a fake job as a mystery shopper. In reality, there are no Walmart mystery shoppers, as the store doesn’t use this system. Scammers may direct you to purchase gift cards and read back card numbers, or they may even send you a fake check and tell you to buy certain products. Unfortunately, the check will bounce, and any money you spent will not be reimbursed.

5. Giveaway scams

The only type of giveaway Walmart offers is its survey sweepstakes, which you have to enter on your own. Some scammers send fake Walmart giveaway text messages, social media messages, or phone calls that claim you’ve been randomly selected to win a prize. They may ask for personal information or charge you a fee to receive your winnings, but all information and funds go to the scammers.

Don't fall for it: Common red flags in Walmart scams

The better you are at identifying text message scams, fraudulent phone calls, and phishing emails, the better equipped you are to avoid falling for the usual traps. Keep these red flags in mind if you get a suspicious call or message that claims to be from Walmart.

Unsolicited communication

Unless you’ve opted in for text message alerts, email newsletters, or other optional updates, you probably won’t get unexpected communications from large corporations like Walmart. However, you may get many unexpected messages from scammers pretending to be those companies. Beware of messages claiming to be from legitimate businesses, even if caller ID shows the real business’s name and phone number.

Too good to be true offers

Scammers know they have to entice their victims with a big offer. However, consumers should recognize that unbelievable offers are typically unbelievable for a reason. If you’re offered a free gift card, cash prize, or valuable item, investigate the offer before you respond — especially if you haven’t entered any contests or giveaways. Chances are it’s a scam.

Urgency and pressure

Walmart will never try to pressure you into making a purchase, taking a survey, or responding to a communication immediately. Scammers, on the other hand, frequently attempt to create a sense of urgency so their victims will act before they can think. Unknown senders that pressure you to take action before you have time to make an informed decision are always a red flag.

Requests for personal information or payments

Scammers go after valuable personal information they can sell on the dark web or use to hack into other accounts, ultimately stealing money or even identities. In many cases, scammers may outright ask for financial details or direct payments, often using Walmart gift cards as their currency of choice. Don’t trust text messages from unverified senders that ask for Social Security numbers, credit card information, or other private details.

What steps can you take to prevent these phone & text scams?

Although many phone scams contain the same red flags, they aren’t always easy to spot. That’s why it’s crucial to know how to prevent them and how to protect yourself when they do occur.

Follow these steps to keep yourself safe from phone fraud like Walmart scams.

Verify communications

Never give away sensitive information or payment details without being completely sure you know and trust the person you’re talking to. Caller ID spoofing is a popular and simple tactic many scammers use to disguise their phone numbers and identities, so you should always contact the alleged person or store at a publicly listed number or email address.

Be cautious of unsolicited offers and prizes

Huge companies like Walmart don’t reach out to consumers at random, so if you’re not expecting an offer, the one you received is probably fake. Beware of scammers who attempt to charge a fee to collect a prize, ask for debit card or bank account information to supposedly pay out the winnings, or encourage you to click a malicious link to claim your offer. These prizes and offers don’t really exist, and the link could download malware onto your device or send you to a fake site that steals your information.

Use strong passwords and 2FA

Advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) have made it easier than ever for scammers to uncover passwords and hack people’s accounts, so it’s crucial to have a strong password that’s even tough for machines to crack. Choose passwords with numbers, letters, and special characters, and change them on a regular basis. 

It can also help to use two-factor authentication (2FA) whenever possible. This requires a code (sent to your mobile device or email address) to log in to your account, providing an extra layer of security and helping keep scammers out.

Install call- and text-spam blockers

There’s no better way to fend off Walmart scams than by downloading a reliable spam blocker app. A comprehensive spam-blocking app like Robokiller will prevent spam calls and scam texts from reaching your phone, so they never have the chance to harm you.

Stay informed and vigilant

Walmart phone scams can be dangerous. However, by understanding how they work, how to spot them, and how to keep them at bay, you can help protect yourself and your family from scammers.

What if I fell for it?

If you’re a victim of fraud, it can be difficult to recover your money and your information — which is why it’s so vital to protect yourself. However, there are steps you can take to mitigate the damage and help authorities protect others from the same types of schemes.

Here’s what you can do if you’ve fallen for a Walmart scam:

  • Alert local law enforcement. Fraud is a serious crime, so report scams to your local police department immediately.
  • Contact your bank. If you’ve given away financial information, quickly notify your bank, credit card companies, and any other financial institutions you use. You may need to freeze accounts, cancel cards, or take other measures to keep scammers from getting to your money.
  • Monitor your accounts for suspicious activity. If you don’t close your financial accounts and credit cards, keep a close eye on them after you’ve been targeted or even fallen for a scam. This way you’ll notice suspicious activity immediately and be able to catch any fraudulent purchases.
  • Report scams to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Some Walmart scammers steal personal information for the purposes of identity theft. If you believe you’ve been a victim or target of identity theft, file a report with the FTC. You can report other types of phone scams and unwanted calls at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
  • Update passwords. As soon as you suspect you’ve fallen for a Walmart scam, change your password for your Walmart account as well as any other accounts that use the same login credentials. If you act quickly, you might be able to secure your accounts before scammers can get in.

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Report Walmart scams to Walmart

Here are a few steps you can take to report Walmart scams directly to the company:

  • Call 1 (888) 537-5503 to report a gift card scam (or to check the balance of a gift card)
  • Call Walmart's Global Ethics helpline at 1 (800) 963-8442 to report a concern
  • Forward suspicious emails to onlineabuse@walmart.com 
  • Forward emails involving spoofed websites to abuse@walmart.com

Robokiller is the key to protect your information

With the right information, scammers can do irreversible damage and cause long-term financial and mental hardships. Fortunately, a leading spam-blocking app like Robokiller can prevent Walmart text scams and calls from buzzing your phone in the first place, keeping your private information private and your family secure.

Robokiller’s unique algorithm boasts 99% accuracy in blocking unwanted calls and texts, and has prevented over $600 million in potential losses to phone scams to date.

Experience life without phone scams when you start your free 7-day trial today.


How can I identify a potential Walmart scam?

Like other phone scams, Walmart scams tend to include many of the same warning signs. If the caller or sender asks for personal information, encourages you to follow suspicious links, or directs you to purchase Walmart gift cards and other products, you’re likely dealing with a scam. 

What types of scams are commonly associated with Walmart?

Walmart scams come in many forms and may use several mediums, including phone calls, emails, text messages, and social media and messaging apps. They may involve fake surveys, prizes, offers, and opportunities, all of which are actually used to steal targets’ personal information and, eventually, their money.

What should I do if I receive a suspicious phone call or text message claiming to be from Walmart?

If you receive what appears to be a Walmart scam, don’t hesitate to report the suspicious phone call or text message to Walmart, local law enforcement, or authorities like the FTC. You can report Walmart scams to Walmart by emailing abuse@walmart.com or calling (888) 537-5503 (for gift card scams) or 1 (800) 666-3947 (for wire transfer scams, via MoneyGram).

How can I protect myself from falling victim to a Walmart scam?

The way you handle a Walmart scam makes all the difference. Never click the links in text messages, give away private information, or respond to suspicious voicemails that claim to be from legitimate retailers. Instead, report and block potentially dangerous calls and texts, and use a comprehensive spam blocker like Robokiller to guard your phone from scams.

Does Walmart contact their customers via texts or phone calls?

Walmart doesn’t send unsolicited texts, emails, or calls to their customers, and they’ll never ask for sensitive information without a legitimate reason. In some situations, the customer service department may have you verify basic information you’ve already given them — but this generally only occurs if you reach out first.

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