Walmart finds itself in a rather uncomfortable position these days. An investigative probe by the FTC alleges the retail giant facilitated money transfer fraud. The amounts mentioned are in the hundreds of millions of dollars, which could spell big trouble for the retailer.
Walmart Is In The Hot Seat
A lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission claims Walmart is part of a significant money transfer fraud scheme. The retail giant provides money transfer services to send money to friends and family members, which they can pick up at nearby Walmart stores. It is a very simple yet powerful system that millions of American citizens have embraced.
Unfortunately, this money transfer system also attracts unwanted attention from criminals. The FTC claims Walmart’s policy on letting employees issue payouts even if the transfer is suspicious has been in place for years. Unfortunately, that approach – whether real or not – has resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in fraudulent money transfers.
These activities allegedly took place from 2013 to 2018, with over $197 million in suspicious transactions. More importantly, these transactions have been the subject of fraud complaints. The FTC argues that another $1,3 billion in payments may be tied to these fraudulent activities. Most consumers would not report a fraudulent transaction right away, or they might not have noticed something fishy had taken place.
Through the lawsuit, the FTC wants to force Walmart to repay affected consumers. Additionally, the FTC seeks civil penalties due to the retail giant’s lackadaisical attitude toward suspicious money transfers. Walmart pockets a fee from every money transfer, earning the retailer millions of dollars in revenue. Those will likely need to be repaid as well.