Fact Check

Is Walmart Offering Via Text Message a $1,000 Coupon for Free Merch?

Coupon scams are common ways perpetrators can use technology to deceive people.

Published Jan 31, 2020

Walmart logo is seen at a store in Mountain View, California, United States on Tuesday, November 19, 2019. Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday shopping season has begun in the U.S. (Photo by Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto via Getty Images) (Getty Images/Stock photo)
Image Via Getty Images/Stock photo
Claim:
Walmart is offering a coupon for $1,000 in free merchandise to people via text message.

In late January 2020, Snopes readers reported receiving a text message with a coupon purporting to offer $1,000 in free merchandise from the big box retailer.

This is nothing more than a coupon scam and is not a real offer by Walmart. Walmart verifies it "does not offer gift cards via text messages, phone calls, online advertisements on websites that are not a Walmart.com site, or through social media sites for 'likes or sharing a post. Walmart will only call or text you with offers if you opt-in to receive such messages."

The Better Business Bureau offers the following advice to avoid getting scammed:

  • Don’t believe what you see. It’s easy to steal the colors, logos, and header of any other established organization. Scammers can also make links look like they lead to legitimate websites and emails appear to come from a different sender.
  • Legitimate businesses do not ask for credit card numbers or banking information for coupons or giveaways. If they do ask for personal information, like an address or email, be sure there’s a link to their privacy policy.
  • When in doubt, do a quick web search. If the giveaway is a scam, this is likely to reveal an alert or bring you to the organization’s real website, where they may have posted further information.
  • Watch out for a reward that’s too good to be true. Businesses typically give out small discounts to entice customers. If the offer seems too good to be true (a $100 voucher or 50% discount) it may be a scam.
  • Look for a mismatched subject line and email body. Many of these scams have an email subject line promising one thing, but the content of the email is something completely different.

Sources

Corporate.Walmart.com. "Gift Card Fraud Prevention."

Better Business Bureau. "Scam Alert: Giveaway Scam Poses as Facebook."   14 April 2017.

Bethania Palma is a journalist from the Los Angeles area who started her career as a daily newspaper reporter and has covered everything from crime to government to national politics. She has written for ... read more

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