Walmart has been hit with a class action lawsuit that accuses the retailer of selling gift cards that are not secure enough. Scammers can just remove a sticker and get the card number and PIN.
Some gift cards sold at Walmart have no packaging and are not secured with any other means. That allows individuals to remove the security tape covering the PIN number and record or take a picture of the PIN number. That’s one of the most popular ways for scammers to steal gift cards. The PIN can then be covered again and looks similar to the original tape. Unsuspecting customers add money to the gift card, and scammers just go online and use them with the information they retrieved before the gift card was purchased.
The lawsuit was filed in August 2018 by a woman in Missouri. She claims that she had purchased two gift cards for her niece and nephew last December, but by the time they received their gift cards and tried to use them the cards had already been used or deactivated. The lawsuit also claims that the fraudulent practice is common and known to Walmart. And yet, associates are not properly trained to inspect gift cards for tampering and the company refuses to replenish the balance on cards or refund money.
Walmart said in a statement: “We take any fraud in connection with our gift cards seriously and have measures designed to help guard against these types of crimes. Like many retailers, we are continuing to look at this issue, the controls we have in place and how we can enhance our gift card program to better protect customers. We are reviewing the complaint and will respond appropriately with the court.”
You should always be careful when purchasing gift cards, especially at brick and mortar stores. They’re a popular gift option for the holidays, but also a favorite for scammers who can easily cash in and often go unnoticed for a long period of time, until the gift card is used. You can read more here about how to protect yourself, or at least minimize the chances of being scammed.
If you think you might be part of the lawsuit against Walmart, then you can fill out the form here.