Don’t expect the cavalry to come charging in if your information is stolen off the Walmart (NYSE:WMT) website. A Memphis woman recently found herself penniless following an identify theft on the retail giant’s website. Though she caught the crime before most of the items in question shipped, Walmart reps were slow on the uptake. As a result, the matter is now in the hands of law enforcement.
Colli Bounds, an occasional Walmart shopper, learned of the fraudulent charges when she got thank-you emails in her inbox on Monday. She was quick to contact the store yet, due to it being after hours, Bounds received a message telling her to try back in the morning. That effort didn’t work either and she watched four of the five orders placed on her card get shipped to an address in Georgia she’d never seen before.
Meanwhile, more than $3,000 in her checking and savings accounts (they were linked) were consumed to fund purchases she never made. Bounds was on Walmart’s Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) page and calling repeatedly in order to stop the shipment in its tracks, yet no one at the company seemed to put it on a priority list…
“They were notified of this,” Bounds told WREG-Memphis. “And they did nothing to stop it.And they seem like they just didn’t care.” A Walmart rep declined to admit the matter ever happened, saying “there is no indication of a breach of Walmart.com systems.” The spokesperson added that Walmart jumps immediately into the fray “when [they] become aware of these matters.”
In the case of Colli Bounds, that clearly didn’t happen. The Memphis woman felt like a minor concern for a company that continues to grow in size. Walmart tells customers and media outlets it will provide copies of records related to any investigation upon request, but there are few in-store security precautions in place. It’s rare that any identification is checked for customers paying with a bank card. Credit card companies seem to be the final line of defense for the consumer whose accounts are hacked. Walmart may not offer a hand at any point.
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