When is the deadline to request the customer compensation from Walmart? Who is eligible?
Customers who were victims of a Walmart gift card scam that targeted elderly victims can be reimbursed. The retailer was able to freeze $4 million funds.
Walmart became aware of something fishy happening in the fall of 2015 when its Global Investigations team “noticed a pattern of regular inquiries from local police departments regarding reports filed by victims of unspecified scams.” Those people had been told to buy Walmart gift cards, generally for $500 and $1,000 amounts, in order to pay bills owed or as “protection” from online criminals among other deceptions.
Using police reports, the retailer reviewed video surveillance from Walmart stores which had captured the moment when the transactions had taken place. The team noticed that senior citizens were “a disproportionate number of the victims.” The company moved to freeze nearly $4 million in funds and informed the Department of Justice, which complemented the retailer for what they were able to do.
Last year, the DOJ secured those funds through a federal court forfeiture action in Arkansas in order to return them to customers who had been duped into buying the gift cards by con artists. As reported by Top Class Actions, those that are eligible may still file a claim for money that they were scammed into handing over to crooks, but only have until mid-July to do so.
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When is the deadline to request the customer compensation from Walmart?
Eligible claimants have until 14 July 2023 to submit a claim for a “remission payment.” You will also be required to provide available supporting documentation along with the Remission Form that you submit according to the claims site. Individuals who do not qualify for compensation should not file a claim.
The form must be postmarked on or before 14 July 2023 and can be sent to the following address:
Who is eligible to request the customer compensation from Walmart?
The grift began at least as early as the fall of 2015, but only customers that were victims of the crime and who purchased a Walmart gift card between 1 April 2016 and 31 July 2017, as a result of the fraudulent scheme, are eligible. This is the period when the retail giant was able to freeze funds from victims that were directed by the crooks to buy gift cards.
The administrator advises that “Payments will not be issued until after the filing period has ended and all submitted Petitions have been reviewed for eligibility.”
For further questions you can check the Walmart Gift Card Remission Administrator’s frequently asked questions.
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Who were the Walmart gift card victims?
Some examples of the victims presented by NBC News, include a 64-year-old trucker who was told he owed $4,000 to an apartment complex where he previously lived. The caller told him that he could settle the debt by purchasing two $500 Walmart gift cards, which he did. However, when the con artist tried a second time to dip from the same well, the victim refused and he received no further calls.
Another individual was offered protection from “hacking” of his various online accounts. Over a 21 month period the criminals managed to get the victim to purchase $8,000 in Walmart gift cards, in addition to another almost $130,000. The con artist at one point claimed to be an FBI agent.
One person has been found responsible and plead guilty to wire fraud for the scheme in November 2019. Songhua Liu, a Chinese national living in New Hampshire, was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison with the expectation that he would be deported. An additional two people were arrested in Texas for allegedly taking part in the scam.