Hoaxes & Rumors

Walmart Cash Back Hoax

Walmart Cash Back Hoax
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A warning circulating online states that a new scam involves unwanted cash back transactions occurring at Walmart.

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It’s a hoax.

Let’s first take a look at the rumor, as seen in circulation in 2013:

This graphic has been circulating with the cash back warning in 2013.

This graphic circulating with the cash back warning in 2013.

Just in time for the Holiday Shopping Season…a reminder of things to come,

PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR RECEIPTS – THIS IS IMPORTANT
WITH THE CHRISTMAS SEASON COMING UP THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT. PLEASE PASS THIS ALONG!!!!!
CHECK YOUR RECEIPTS BEFORE LEAVING ANY CASHIER’S STATION!!!!!

THIS COULD HAPPEN ANYWHERE.

It happened at a Wal-Mart Supercenter a month ago.

I bought a bunch of stuff, over $150, & I glanced at my receipt as the cashier was handing me the bags. I saw a cash-back of $40. I told her I didn’t request a cash back & to delete it. She said I’d have to take the $40 because she couldn’t delete it. I told her to call a supervisor.

Supervisor came & said I’d have to take it! I said NO! Taking the $40 would be a cash advance against my Discover & I wasn’t paying interest on the cash advance!!!!! If they couldn’t delete it then they would have to delete the whole order. So the supervisor had the cashier delete the whole order & rescan everything!

The second time I looked at the electronic tab before I signed & a cash-back of $20 popped up. At that point I told the cashier & she deleted it.

The total came out right. the cashier agreed that the electronic pad must be defective. (yeah, right!)

Obviously the cashier knew the electronic pad wasn’t defective because she NEVER offered me the $40 at the beginning.
Can you imagine how many people went through before me & at the end of her shift how much money she pocketed?

Just to alert everyone. My coworker went to Milford , DE Wal-Mart last week. She had her items rung up by the cashier. The cashier hurried her along and didn’t give her a receipt.

She asked the cashier for a receipt and the cashier was annoyed and gave it to her.
My coworker didn’t look at her receipt until later that night. The receipt showed that she asked for $20 cash back. SHE DID NOT ASK FOR CASH BACK!

My coworker called Wal-Mart who investigated but could not see the cashier pocket the money. She then called her niece who works for the bank and her niece told her This is a new scam. The cashier will key in that you asked for cash back and then hand it to her friend who is the next person in line.

Please, please, please check your receipts right away when using credit or debit cards!

This is NOT limited to Wal-Mart, although they are the largest retailer so they have the most incidents.

I am adding to this…. My husband and I were in Wal-Mart North Salisbury and paying with a credit card. When my husband went to sign the credit card signer, he just happened to notice there was a $20 cash back added. He told the cashier that he did not ask nor want cash back and she said this machine has been messing up and she canceled it. We didn’t think anything of it until we read this email.

I wonder how many “seniors” have been, or will be, “stung” by this one????

THIS SCAM CAN BE DONE ANYWHERE, AT ANY RETAIL OR WHOLESALE LOCATION!!!

BEFORE LEAVING THE CASHIER’S STATION!!!!!
CHECK YOUR RECEIPT
BEFORE LEAVING THE STAND. I’VE SEEN PEOPLE DO JUST THAT. NOW I’LL START!

PASS THIS ON TO YOUR FRIENDS, KIDS, LOVED ONES

Several few versions of the above warning have circulated since around 2004. Some variants state that the cashier keeps the money or hands it to a friend waiting in line. We’ve seen another version which states that the cash is given to the customer, but it is an unwanted cash advance from a credit card, meaning the customer will have pay interest on it.

There is, however, no evidence that the above story ever took place. Further, such a scenario is unlikely since most modern debit machines – including those at Walmart – prompt the customer for cash back, and it cannot be initiated by the cashier.

Additional problems with the story:

  • Details. The hoax has circulated citing different locations, such as Milford, Delaware or Houston, Texas.
  • “New” scam. The warning states that this is a new scam which happened “a month ago,” although this warning has been circulating for at least 9 years.
  • Lack of corroboration. We could find no news reports to back up the claims of this specific report, or any trend of such a cash back scam.

Possible real scenarios

  • Accident. It is possible that a customer can accidentally request cash back by pressing the wrong buttons on the pin pad.
  • Forgetting. There have been instances where customers requested cash back and then either forgot to ask for it, or the cashier forgot to give it to them.

Bottom Line

There is no evidence that the above “Walmart Cash Back Scam” has ever been a real problem. In most cases, cash back is initiated by the consumer at the pin-pad, not by the cashier. It is, however, always a good idea to check your receipt before leaving the store.

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