The goal of this scam is to encourage consumers to take multiple surveys and pay for shipping in exchange for a “free” gift, like a high-quality piece of jewelry, a store-branded gift card for a significant amount, or another product. However, after fulfilling the requirements, the consumer may never receive the promised gift, or they will be charged more than just shipping.
How These Scams Work
- Consumers either receive a spam email or come across a web advertisement or web site from “Walmart” offering a high quality piece of jewelry or other gift in exchange for participating in surveys and paying the cost of shipping.
- Once this information is entered, the consumer may be asked to take part in a series of surveys.
- Once the surveys are complete (if they were offered at all), the consumer is given the opportunity to select their “free” gift, but it will end up costing the consumer a great deal of money in fees, hidden subscriptions, and unwanted products. In addition, at the end of the process there is no guarantee that the consumer will even receive the gift.
The above example shows several signs of being a typical fraudulent Walmart email, such as an outdated logo and having a PO Box listed as an address.
- Walmart does not solicit online for individuals to complete online surveys for gift cards or free gifts, nor do we send unsolicited emails asking individuals to participate in our surveys
- Walmart does not endorse and is not affiliated with any "sponsor offer" related program or survey
- Walmart will never send you emails or surveys that are contingent on your making purchases, subscriptions, or fulfilling other financial requirements
- Drawings for the legitimate Walmart receipt survey occur four times a year. Winners of the register receipt gift card are notified by certified mail, never via email
How to Protect Yourself
- Don't open or respond to unsolicited e-mails offering free gift cards or other gifts
- Don't click on or respond to online ads or websites offering free gift cards or other gifts
- Pay attention to the website URL. If the URL does not match the branding to a legitimate website navigate away from the website
To Report Suspected Sponsor Offer Scams
If you suspect you have been directed to a phony website claiming to be connected with Walmart, please send an email with the link to firstname.lastname@example.org. The email abuse team will then work with authorities to put an end to the particular scam.
If you suspect you have received a fraudulent email claiming to be from Walmart, please send the email directly to Walmart at OnlineAbuse@walmart.com with the scam as an attachment. For investigatory purposes, please do not cut and paste the email, forward the email, or change the subject line.