Recently, the superstore has set to work trying to save potential victims from Walmart gift card scammers. By implementing new technology, Walmart froze almost $4 million worth of gift cards, which had been purchased predominantly by elderly people who had fallen for the scam, reports CNBC. The funds were seized by the U.S. Department of Justice to be returned to the victims. Although gift card scams are far from over, Walmart’s efforts will enable thousands of people to recover their money.
Per CNBC, gift card scams are on the rise, with more than $148 million in stolen funds reported in 2021. To avoid being scammed, refer to the FTC’s Consumer Advice page. The organization reminds people that “gift cards are for gifts, not for payments,” and anyone demanding money through a gift card is almost surely a scammer. If you get a call that sounds like one of these scams, report it to the FTC or your state attorney general. And if you did pay a scammer, let law enforcement and the company you purchased the gift card from know. Similarly, avoid any sketchy announcements or inquiries related to gift cards. Last year, a Walmart gift card scam aimed to defraud customers with a fake reward offer.