- How the Walmart Giveaway Text Scam Works
- Red Flags of the Walmart Text Scam
- 4 Ways to Protect Yourself Against a Walmart Text Scam
- What to do if You’ve Fallen for a Walmart Text Scam
A Walmart giveaway text scam is going around alerting receivers that a code printed on their last receipt was chosen as a winner for a gift card. Unfortunately, this scam is meant to trick unsuspecting shoppers into giving out their personal or financial information to claim the money. Learn more about this scam and how to avoid it in the future.
How the Walmart Giveaway Text Scam Works
The Walmart text scam is pretty simple. First, you’ll get a text from the scammer posing as Walmart. The text may read something like this:
Congrats [Name]! Your code 7FV-K6S8 printed on your last receipt is among 7 we randomly picked for $1000 Walmart gift card promotion. [link: a6rzr.info/cedVCp2e3Nmk]
Unfortunately, since there is no other information, you may be tempted to click on the link to claim your Walmart gift cards or read more about the contest.
Doing so will lead to a fake website set up by the scammers to look like a genuine Walmart page. You may be asked to enter personal information to claim your gift card.
However, this is a smishing scam meant to steal your information when you click on the phishing link. Once you input your information, the scammer will be able to see this sensitive data.
What is Smishing?
Smishing is a combination of SMS texting and the practice of stealing personal or financial information through deceptive emails, otherwise known as phishing. It’s the term used when the scam involves text messages.
Smishing is meant to influence individuals in giving over their sensitive information such as passwords, login credentials or social security number (SSN).
Red Flags of the Walmart Text Scam
Though the actual contents within the SMS text message may vary, there are a few telltale signs that you can look out for to ensure you don’t fall for a Walmart text scam. Some of these red flags include:
- Spelling or grammatical errors
- Links that don’t take you to the official Walmart website
- Official Amazon links in text messages may include those starting with https://www.walmart.com/
- Winning a contest that you never signed up for
- Requests for personal information
- Incorrect, blurry, or outdated Walmart logos and branding
- A sense of urgency (e.g., you must act now!)
4 Ways to Protect Yourself Against a Walmart Text Scam
Use these tips to protect yourself from falling for a fake text posing as Walmart:
- Never provide personal or banking information in response to an unsolicited text message. Walmart will never ask for this information via text, email or on a call they initiated.
- Do not respond to any suspicious text messages, doing so can alert the scammer that you’re a good target for additional scam text messages.
- Never blindly trust the Caller ID or phone number listed as the sender of the text. Scammers can manipulate the Caller ID to have it display a legitimate business’ name or number.
- If you’re unsure whether the text is real or not, call Walmart’s customer service line directly at 1-800-925-6278 (1-800-WALMART) and ask about the text.
- Don’t click on any links within your text message if you’re unsure of the sender.
- Walmart will only send links that start with “https://www.walmart.com/;” anything else is likely leading you to a fraudulent site.
What to do if You’ve Fallen for a Walmart Text Scam
If you accidentally fell for a fake Walmart text, don’t worry, there are things you can do to protect yourself now and in the future. Here’s what you’ll want to do:
- Update your passwords
- Contact your bank
- Contact Walmart
- Report it to authorities
Update Your Password
Login to your Walmart account and change your password immediately. If you use the same password elsewhere, be sure to update it on those sites as well. Be sure to use a combination of letters, numbers and characters and avoid using common words.
If you need help creating one, there are online password generators you can use such as LastPass to get a secure and random one.
Contact Your Bank
If you think the scammers may have your financial information such as your debit card or checking account number, you’ll want to contact the bank immediately. Let them know what happened and they can issue you a new card and monitor your account for fraudulent activity.
It’s a good idea to contact Walmart and let them know that they are being targeted for a text scam or a phony website is claiming to be connected with them.
Be sure to include a copy of the text within the email and offer as much detail as you can about the scam.
Report it to the Authorities
There are a few organizations that you can contact to report fraud including the FTC and the Internet Crime Complaint Center. Make sure that you take a screenshot of the text and any website you clicked on (if applicable).
Then take these steps:
- Forward the message to 7726 (SPAM)
- Report the incident to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)
- Report it to the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov
Once you’ve finished reporting it, block the phone number on your phone and delete the message.
Other Types of Scam Texts to Be Aware Of
Scammers are sending more and more scam text messages pretending to be from legitimate companies and banks:
- Capital One
- Citizens Bank
- Navy Federal
- Wells Fargo
Don't click on links within these texts or call the phone number listed. You should always find the genuine number for the company on their official website.