Jan 19, 2023

Walmart Self-Checkout Scams

Walmart Self-Checkout Scams

According to new reports, a Walmart customer in Spring, Texas has come forward about their recent experience with a new hard-to-spot self-checkout scam. Read on to learn more about this scam and how it may affect your next visit to the store. 

How Does the Scam Work?

As explained by an anonymous Walmart shopper on Classic Rock 96.1, during a recent experience at one of their local Walmart's self-checkout kiosks, the shopper's friend noticed that a few of the items in their basket were ringing up much higher than they should have been. When they began to look through the receipt, they noticed something was off. One of the things pointed out by the friend was a random charge of $20 that neither one of the two knew where it came from. The item description listed next to the charge was "debit load." Further inspection would have the friends find another charge of $4.94 that read "Visa."

Before leaving, the duo spoke with Walmart's customer service booth to further investigate the suspicious charges on their receipt. According to the employees, what they found on their receipt was that they had fallen victim to a new scam that has been going around the self-checkout lines. How the scam works is that someone will get to the kiosk and begin the process of purchasing a prepaid Visa card. Then, they will leave the kiosk without finalizing the transaction. However, the scammer won't go far. They'll be nearby, watching and waiting for someone to begin the checkout process at that same kiosk and hoping that the new person will be unaware of the unpaid card already added to their transaction.

Double Check Your Receipts

While the solution may seem obvious, these scams may not be as obvious to spot when in the midst of checking out. Below we’ll go over a few tips you can use in order to help catch a scam or stop it from happening to you altogether. 

One of the very first things you should do when using the self-checkout line is to be aware of your surroundings. Check the area for anything or anyone that may look suspicious. That could be an item lingering around the scanner or someone watching your kiosks. Self-checkout lines are often pretty relaxed when it comes to security, so keep your head on a swivel and use the tools they give you to ensure you have a safe checkout experience. 

What you can do to avoid being scammed altogether is to immediately check the screen for any pending items. In a time crunch, it can be tempting to quickly scan your items and go, but that is exactly what the scammers are expecting and hoping that you do. It only takes two seconds to check the screen to ensure that there are no previously scanned products listed and that the total balance is starting at $0. If you happen to see that your on-screen cart isn’t empty, then you can either clear it by canceling that transaction or if you suspect that this may be the sign of a scammer, call a staff member over immediately for help.

As you leave the store, take a moment to review your physical receipt. Check your bags and compare them to the itemized list. Are there any weird charges listed as “debit load” or “Visa,” or perhaps something in your list isn’t in your bag? If you find something suspicious on your receipt or if you suspect that this may be the sign of a scammer, call a staff member over immediately for help.

Have You Been Scammed?

If you've fallen victim to this new scam, do not panic. Take a moment to scan your receipt and locate the suspicious items. Contact the store for help to inform them that you have fallen victim and that others in the area may have also been targets. You can contact your local law enforcement and your bank to create a record that you have been scammed. Afterward, we highly recommend you contact an attorney. Your attorney will help you investigate what happened and provide the necessary tools to get you the justice you deserve.

For more information on these self-checkout scams or to learn more about how we can help you, you can contact Morgan & Morgan today by completing our free, no-obligation case evaluation form. You can get fast and easy information about your legal options at no cost to you.