Keeping Yourself Safe: A Guide to Avoiding Walmart’s Most Common Online Scams

Hi there! As an experienced cybersecurity expert, I want to help you stay savvy and protected when shopping with Walmart, the world‘s largest retailer. While Walmart works diligently to safeguard customers, scammers are constantly hatching new schemes to steal personal information and get their hands on your hard-earned money.

In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll walk you through the most prevalent Walmart scams hitting inboxes and landing pages everywhere. I‘ll share tips from my decade-plus in cloud data security to help you detect and avoid these sneaky scams. My goal is to keep your identity and accounts as secure as possible so you can enjoy the conveniences of Walmart shopping without worry. Let‘s get started!

Overview of the Most Common Walmart Scams

As an influential global brand, Walmart is a prime target for cybercriminals seeking to exploit its reputation and massive customer base. Here are the main categories of scams I most often see impacting Walmart shoppers:

Scam Type Description
Phishing Emails, texts, calls pretending to be Walmart to steal personal information
Gift Card Offers of free or discounted gift cards aimed to obtain financial data
Survey Fake customer surveys spreading malware and capturing data
Order Bogus order confirmations with phishing links to capture info
Money Transfer Requests for money transfers under false pretenses
Impersonation Scammers posing as Walmart employees to get sensitive data

These scams aim to bait victims using familiar communication channels and topics related to Walmart’s offerings. Even savvy shoppers can be duped if they’re not vigilant. Next I’ll provide more details on six of the most prevalent scams, along with expert tips for identifying and avoiding them.

6 Common Walmart Scams In-Depth

1. Slick Fake Websites

One especially sneaky technique scammers use is setting up fake lookalike Walmart websites with subtle differences in URLs or branding. When you land on these slick forgeries, any login attempt or purchase routes your details straight to criminals.

For example, a devious fake site URL may use “Wallmart” instead of Walmart or add extra characters like “Walmart-uk”. With secure HTTPS protocol, fake sites also commonly use certificate errors to fool users.

Expert Tips:

  • Verify the domain reads as simply “” before entering info

  • Check for the “Secure” padlock icon and valid certificate before proceeding

  • Avoid clicking email links – type Walmart’s URL directly into your browser

2. Crafty Phishing Emails

Phishing remains one of the biggest threats in my work protecting cloud data. Cleverly forged emails impersonating Walmart may land in your inbox offering deals, noticing an issue with your “account,” or asking you to verify information.

These emails often closely mimic Walmart’s actual branding and messaging. But malicious links or attachments are waiting to infect your device or steal your data. Salvos of thousands of these emails are blasted out by scammers fishing for victims.

Expert Tips:

  • Verify the sender address ends in before opening

  • Watch for slight misspellings, grammar errors, or odd formatting

  • Never provide personal or financial data via email

  • Forward phishing emails to [email protected]

3. “Free” Gift Card Offers

Who doesn’t love a freebie? Scammers exploit this by blanketing online ads, websites, and spam emails with offers for free Walmart gift cards. To claim your “gift card,” you just need to take a short survey or provide some basic personal information.

In reality, these sites are phishing to capture credit card or Social Security numbers for identity theft – and you won’t get a gift card at all. Some even deposit small amounts temporarily into accounts, hoping you’ll provide bank passwords to withdraw more.

Expert Tips:

  • There’s no such thing as a free lunch – be very suspicious of unsolicited gift card offers

  • Verify survey domains match Walmart’s legitimate survey site (

  • Contact Walmart Customer Service if you have doubts about a promotion’s authenticity

4. Malware-Laden Surveys

Similar to gift card come-ons, fake customer satisfaction surveys are deployed to distribute malware to victim’s devices. These surveys promise rewards or prizes for providing feedback on your Walmart shopping experience.

Once opened, the scammer can deploy malware to steal stored passwords, or hold your device ransom until you pay a fee. If you do provide info, it also gives them data for identity theft.

Expert Tips:

  • Double check domains match Walmart’s legitimate survey site

  • Avoid opening email attachments – type the URL directly into your browser

  • Never provide more personal information than needed for legitimate surveys

  • Call Walmart Customer Service if you have doubts

5. Fake Order Confirmations

Another scam I often see hits inboxes are fake order confirmation emails from Walmart. These may claim there is an issue processing your payment method, or that the shipping address needs to be verified.

Embedded phishing links then direct victims to spoofed sites to steal updated billing and credit card info. Some even threaten account suspension if immediate action isn’t taken.

Expert Tips:

  • Independently log in to your Walmart account to verify recent orders

  • Check that order numbers, items, totals match your actual account activity

  • Look out for slight differences in sender addresses like “”

  • Avoid opening phishing links – go directly to Walmart’s website

6. Money Transfer Requests

Walmart offers convenient money transfers through Walmart2Walmart. Unfortunately, scammers leverage this service by pretending to be a desperate relative in need of immediate funds.

This “relative” asks you to send a Walmart2Walmart money transfer to them. In reality, it goes straight into the criminal’s pocket. These schemes often prey on seniors’ emotions.

Expert Tips:

  • Independently verify ANY request for a money transfer, even from purported family

  • Confirm emergency situations directly with other family or friends

  • Never provide money transfers to “pay” for products or services

  • Only use transfers for recipients you personally know and trust

Protecting Yourself From Walmart Scams

Now that you know what to watch for, here are my top expert tips to avoid falling victim:

  • Double check vital details – Sender addresses, URLs, order numbers, etc. Verify via separate channels before proceeding or providing info.

  • Avoid opening links and attachments – Go directly to Walmart sites you know are legitimate to check status. Opening attachments or links risks infecting devices.

  • Use antivirus/malware software – Protect devices with reputable cybersecurity software capable of identifying and blocking phishing sites.

  • Don‘t reply to suspicious emails – Forward phishing emails to Walmart, then delete. Replying confirms your active address for scammers.

  • Monitor your accounts routinely – Frequently log in to check your Walmart account for fraudulent activity. Also monitor financial accounts for unauthorized charges.

  • Never provide sensitive data – Walmart will NEVER ask for personal details like Social Security numbers over email or texts.

  • Report scam incidents – Notify Walmart, banks, authorities if targeted so they can attempt to limit damages and track criminals.

Scam Statistics: Why You Need to Stay Vigilant

To emphasize why following scam prevention tips matters, here are some statistics on rising fraud threats from FBI and retail industry sources:

  • Online shopping fraud rose 60% from 2019 to 2020 as scammers exploited pandemic shifts to ecommerce. [1]

  • Losses to online retail scams reached $245 million in 2020 – a dramatic uptick. [2]

  • Phishing attacks overall surged upwards of 350% during the pandemic as scammers adapted techniques. [3]

  • The FBI reported 19,000 victims lost over $126 million to e-commerce fraud in 2021. Average reported loss was $6,700 per victim. [4]

  • 84% of organizations experienced phishing attempts in 2021. A third of these scams targeted retail and ecommerce specifically. [5]

This data shows scammers are working overtime to take advantage of retailers like Walmart and manipulate customers. Staying vigilant in recognizing and reporting scams is crucial.

What To Do if You‘re Targeted by a Walmart Scam

If a scam involving Walmart targets you, here are the steps I advise to help limit damages:

  • Contact your bank/credit card provider immediately – Alert them to any fraudulent charges or suspicious activity. Consider cancelling affected cards.

  • Change any compromised passwords – update your Walmart password if credentials were stolen. Also reset passwords anywhere else you reuse passwords.

  • Contact Walmart Customer Service – Report the scam incident and suspicious account activity to help Walmart‘s fraud teams investigate on their end.

  • Notify authorities – File reports with the FBI IC3, FTC, and your local law enforcement providing details on how you were targeted.

  • Monitor accounts closely – Watch for signs of potential identity theft based on stolen information, like unauthorized account openings.

  • Consider credit freezes – Placing freezes with credit bureaus can block scammers from opening new accounts in your name.

  • Join identity theft protection services – Services like LifeLock actively monitor your credit and accounts for fraudulent activity, saving you time.

The faster you report scam attempts, the quicker you can contain damages. Don‘t let embarrassment or fear of admitting missteps delay taking action to protect yourself.

In Summary…

I hope this guide has helped shed light on the latest scam threats targeting Walmart shoppers today. While Walmart has advanced security teams working diligently, scammers move fast evolving new techniques. Staying aware of common scam tactics is the best way we can protect our hard-earned money and identities.

Please feel free to reach out if you have any other scam concerns I can help advise on. I‘m always happy to share the knowledge I‘ve gained through my many years as a cybersecurity expert. Stay safe out there, and happy scam-free shopping!

Luis Masters

Written by Luis Masters

Luis Masters is a highly skilled expert in cybersecurity and data security. He possesses extensive experience and profound knowledge of the latest trends and technologies in these rapidly evolving fields. Masters is particularly renowned for his ability to develop robust security strategies and innovative solutions to protect against sophisticated cyber threats.

His expertise extends to areas such as risk management, network security, and the implementation of effective data protection measures. As a sought-after speaker and author, Masters regularly contributes valuable insights into the evolving landscape of digital security. His work plays a crucial role in helping organizations navigate the complex world of online threats and data privacy.