Don't Fall For This Walmart Gift Card Scam

Recently, a social media post has circulated offering a "gift bag full of goodies and a $75 Walmart voucher." The fraudulent post claimed the offer was in celebration of Walmart's commitment to ditching plastic bags and encouraged users to comment, share the post, and click a particular link to get the reward. As confirmed by a Walmart spokesperson, the gift card offer is a scam (via Concho Valley). 

The old phrase, "too good to be true," might have been the first thought when this Walmart gift card offer popped up. While many Walmart shoppers would be ecstatic to receive a gift card for ditching plastic bags, the reality is that the offer needs to go in the trash. Spokesperson Casey Staheli told Cocho Valley, "This page is not affiliated with or endorsed by Walmart. We take any fraud impacting our customers seriously and continue to implement and improve upon measures designed to help guard against various consumer scams."

This particular gift card scam might be a new one, but the Walmart website has a list of common scams as well as other potential fraud warnings (via Walmart). Also, the FTC provides tips on avoiding phishing and scams. Some clues include a generic greeting or a slightly different company logo. As Joan D. Vinge, author of The Snow Queen, has been attributed as saying (via Brainy Quote), "There's no such thing as a free lunch, at least on the karmic level."

Is Walmart really ditching plastic bags?

In the recent Walmart gift card scam, the premise referred to a recent announcement that the company will be reducing its plastic bag use (via Snopes). Previously, Walmart announced that it was joining the Beyond the Bag initiative. In that July 2020 announcement, Walmart stated that "while the convenience of the plastic retail bag cannot be disputed, the average working life of one of these bags is only 12 minutes" (via Walmart). In addition, it shared that "100 billion plastic bags are being used annually in the U.S. alone." While those numbers seem to be staggering, changing consumer habits may not be as easy as creating them.

As part of the Beyond the Bag Initiative, Walmart and other brands like Target and CVS encouraged creative solutions to the plastic bag problem (via Closed Loop Partners). In February 2021, nine winning concepts were revealed (via Walmart). From a seaweed-derived bag to rewards for remembering to bring a reusable bag, the concepts could help consumers make a lasting change. If everyone can remember to bring that quarter for the Aldi cart, maybe ditching the plastic bag could become a reality.