The Walmart Pandemic Relief program is one of those programs that will appeal to many Americans. The name “Walmart” alone will entice many people.
But the question is this. Is the Walmart relief program a scam or just another flashy program from the retail giant? How should you respond when you receive these messages?
We’ll discuss all you need to know about this Walmart relief program, including other similar programs you need to know.
Is the program a scam? Read this post before you click that link.
Is Walmart Pandemic Relief Program A Scam?
Yes, the Walmart pandemic relief program is a scam! Walmart isn’t organizing any pandemic relief program. What you see is the work of scammers.
Your desperation to partake in such a relief program is understandable. Times are hard, and job opportunities aren’t forthcoming.
Unfortunately, scam programs like these are dangerous. They can get you into bigger trouble.
How To Respond To The Walmart Pandemic Relief Program Text Message
We have said that the program is a complete scam. The text sent by the scammers behind the program reads like this:
“You have received a direct deposit of $1,200 from Walmart Pandemic Relief Program. Apply here: https//walmartpandemicere.wixsite.com/my-site”
So this is how they normally construct the text. You can see that it looks tempting, but don’t fall for it.
The best thing you should do when you receive such a text message is to hit the delete button on your device. Delete the text immediately before it becomes too late.
Allowing the text message to remain on your device doesn’t pose any threat. The text is only dangerous when you click on the link. When you click on the link, hackers can steal your sensitive information. These include your financial information, personal information, credit card details, and others.
New Walmart Gift Card Scams You Need To Know
People need to understand that scammers are smart and desperate individuals. They’re working day and night, trying to devise new ways to defraud more people.
So, the Pandemic Relief Program is not the only Walmart scam that scammers have devised. They have other Walmart scam tricks they feel many people haven’t understood yet.
Here are the Walmart scams hackers have devised to capture more people.
1: They post special offers or giveaways by Walmart on social media
2: They create an illegal Walmart gift card-checking platform
3: Act as IRS and request a Walmart gift card from you
4: Hire you as a Walmart mystery shopper
5: Phishing Walmart website designed to offer free prizes
6: Fake Walmart online survey
Let’s explain how the Walmart scams we just mentioned works.
1: How The Fake Walmart giveaways Works
It’s easy for scammers to create a social media account and post anything they want. So be careful out there. Not everything you see on these platforms is real.
Giveaway is a marketing strategy most retail companies deploy to attract more customers. And does the strategy work? Yes, it does.
So, understand that not all giveaways are scam. You can even spot the fake ones easily, if you pay close attention. An example is the Walmart giveaway scam.
Hackers know what attracts people and understand that shoppers like freebies. The Walmart scam they have rolled out is, “Walmart is offering gift bags and a $75 voucher to lucky customers in honor of the company’s achievement of going plastic-bag-free.
The message looks real, and so is the offer. The fact that these scammers use Walmart’s logo makes it more tempting, but don’t fall for it.
When you come across such giveaways on social media and click on “validate,” you’ll end up on an unsecured website where scammers will steal sensitive information that belongs to you.
So, be careful out there. If Walmart wants to offer any giveaway, they’ll have the information published on their official website. So visit Walmart’s official website to confirm if they have such an offer. If yes, click on the link on their page.
2: How the fake gift card checking platform works:
Scammers like gift cards so much, and do you know why? Gift cards are impossible to track once stolen. In other words, the police or Walmart itself cannot help you identify the scammer once your gift card is stolen.
Another thing you need to understand about scammers is that they enjoy copying legal things (websites, promotional messages, etc) so their targets won’t have any suspicion.
So, how does the balance check scam works
Scammers have an unsecured website designed to serve as a gift card checking platform. Unfortunately, their number one goal isn’t to help you check your balance but steal your card number.
When you enter your details to check your gift card balance, the fake platform will check them using the real balance checker. The idea is to prevent you from having any suspicion and steal your card details in the process.
So, you have to be careful. Visit Walmart’s official website to check your gift card balance. Ignore any random platform that claims to offer this service.
3: How the Walmart IRS scam works:
Scammers have diverse tricks up their sleeves that you can’t even imagine. The latest is posing as IRS officials to get people to send them gift cards.
How does the Walmart IRS scam work?
Scammers know most people detest dealing with the IRS because of the stress involved. They’ll present themselves as IRS officials, offering to make the process seamless for you.
These fake IRS officials will call and inform you that you owe tax or that they have a warrant to jail you for tax evasion, which looks frightening.
The thing is these criminals only want your gift card. Most will request you pay using gift cards, while some will request a wire transfer. They’ll remain on the phone for as long as it takes, waiting for you to grab the gift card and read the number out to them.
The Walmart IRS scam can also take other forms. You must understand that these scammers are changing their strategies now and then.
Here are other tricks scammers use that are similar to the Walmart IRS scam.
- They’ll call you and pretend to be tech support from large corporations like Apple, Samsung, Netflix, Microsoft, etc., and request you send a gif card for XYZ reasons.
- These scammers can contact and inform you that your relative or friend is in danger, urging you to send Walmart gift cards to save them.
- They may call and pretend to be someone you know. They’ll make you believe they have a package for you and that sending a gift card will ensure the package gets to you quickly.
4: How the Walmart mystery shopper scam works:
Reports of the Walmart mystery shopper scam are all over the place. Unfortunately, most people have yet to find out about this scam.
How does the Walmart mystery shopper scam work?
Firstly, scammers will ask if you wish to be hired as a mystery shopper. If you agree, they’ll send you a check and request that you buy Walmart gift cards from two or more locations.
These scammers will instruct you to purchase gift cards and read out the numbers to them over the phone. A few days later, the issued check will come back as fraudulent, and the bank will deduct the money from your account.
5: How the phishing Walmart website scam works:
Do you know about phishing email scams? The Walmart phishing website scam is similar to that.
How does the Walmart phishing website scam work?
The scammer will set up a website that resembles Walmart’s. Unfortunately, these fake websites are hard to identify. You have to be extremely careful and know features that classify a website as insecure.
When you land on the fake website, a pop-up window will be displayed on your screen. This pop-up window informs visitors of the special offers from Walmart sweepstakes.
The messages are usually tempting, but you must ensure you don’t click on the link. Once you do, these hackers will gain access to your private information, credit card details, and other sensitive information about you.
6: How fake Walmart online survey works:
Walmart’s online survey scam has become popular over the years. But how does it work?
Here’s how this scam works.
Walmart normally creates online surveys asking customers to answer a few questions. The response to the questions enables the retail giant to gauge customers’ shopping experience and identify areas that need improvement. When you answer the questions, you’ll get a gift card or other gifts from Walmart.
Unfortunately, hackers have seen Walmart’s online survey as an opportunity to scam people. They create a similar online survey and distribute them via emails and websites. Sometimes, these fake online surveys appear as pop-ups on websites.
Ensure you don’t open the fake Walmart online surveys, regardless of how you get them. If you do, you might become a financial and identity theft victim.
All the data you provide on the fake online survey ends up in the hands of these scammers. Your gift card number will also enter their hands because they’ll ask you to provide your financial details to claim your gifts.
Is Walmart pandemic relief program a scam? Yes, it is. You can become an identity or financial theft victim if you mistakenly follow the scammers’ instructions.
In other words, if you click the link posted in the message, you’ll automatically give scammers access to your financial and other sensitive information.
So, be careful out there. Only click on a link once you can confirm that the message came from a legitimate source. You can verify it by visiting the company’s official website to see if they’re offering such a program.
You can click on the link on Walmart’s official website. But if it doesn’t appear on their website, know that you’re dealing with scammers.