Did Customers Receive Racist Emails from Walmart?

A slew of phony accounts resulted in emails generated using the company’s email.

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Image via Mike Mozart/Flickr

Claim

Customers received racist emails from Walmart.

Rating

Context

In May 2021, an unknown person created a slew of phony Walmart accounts to send out emails with racial slurs. The emails were meant to appear as though they were sent on behalf of the company, but a spokesperson for Walmart told Snopes that an unidentified "bad actor" created the accounts with "obvious intent to offend" customers.

Origin

In late May 2021, social media users took to the platforms to report they had received emails purportedly from Walmart that included racial slurs and other offensive language. 

One recipient shared a screenshot of the email subject line to Twitter on May 24:  

Screengrab/Twitter

Numerous U.S. national news outlets reported that an “external bad actor” created a slew of phony accounts using the email addresses of real people but substituting in racial slurs and offensive words for their first and last names. These new accounts automatically generated “Welcome to Walmart” emails from the address “help@walmart.com” that replaced the receiver’s name with the offensive language. One example said “Welcome to Walmart,” followed by the N-word.

A spokesperson for the commercial giant said that it was aware of the incident but stressed that the company’s internal systems were not breached.

“We discovered that an external bad actor created false Walmart accounts with obvious intent to offend our customers. We were shocked and appalled to see these offensive and unacceptable emails,” Molly Blakeman, director of national media relations for Walmart, told Snopes in an email. 

“We’re looking into our sign-up process to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again. We’re also looking into all available means to hold those responsible accountable.” 

Snopes followed up with Walmart to determine whether the company had identified the entity behind the fake accounts and how many emails had been sent. We will update the article if we hear back.