On Aug. 17, 2022, we came across a Facebook post that claimed Walmart would be awarding a shopping spree to five winners. According to the post, the special "shopping surprise" promotion was in honor of Ukraine's upcoming independence day on Aug. 24. However, this was nothing more than a survey scam. Walmart had no involvement.
The scammer's post (archived) appeared on a page named WaImart Fans. The company's name was spelled with an "I" instead of an "L" for the third letter. This was likely the scammer's attempt to avoid detection by Meta, Facebook's parent company.
The post read as follows:
To Celebrate Ukraine's 31st INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY, @Walmart, Starting from today we will give a FREE Shopping Surprise to 5 Winners on Facebook. Successfully Typing "FREE" This program is valid until August 24th.
This Facebook post was made by the same scammers that previously promoted other fake promotions for free refrigerators and ovens at Target and Walmart. Some of the pages appeared to be managed from Indonesia.
Survey scams are a specific kind of ruse. They promise big prizes up front, but then lead to a seemingly endless number of surveys with other tantalizing prizing promises, such as a $750 transfer via the mobile finance app, Cash App. Usually, the scammers who created the Facebook posts are hoping that users sign up for accounts on various websites that might land them small amounts of commission. At the same time, survey scams can also be quite dangerous, as AARP.org reported:
Amid questions about the supposed subject, sham surveys solicit personal or financial information, such as a credit card number to pay a shipping fee for your prize — something a legit survey will not do. They might trick you into signing up for a “free trial” offer that’s actually a costly subscription for a dietary supplement or other product. Clicking on the link might also launch malware that can scrape sensitive data from your device. Either way, the scammers get information they can use for identity theft or sell on to other bad actors. Some major retailers, including Amazon and Walmart, do offer gift cards as prizes for customers who complete online surveys about their shopping experience, but those companies say they will never ask participants to provide sensitive data.