Gift Card Sponsor Offer Scam

The goal of this scam is to encourage consumers to spend money on "sponsor offers" in the belief that they will eventually receive a high value gift card. However, after fulfilling the "sponsor offers" the consumer may never even receive the gift card or will have spent more money on the offers than the worth the gift card.

How these scams work:

  1. Consumers either receive a spam e-mail or come across a web advertisement or web site offering a Walmart or other well known gift card worth a large amount of money.
  2. The consumer is taken to a website that is has branding that makes it appear to be a legitimate merchant (ex: Walmart), there the consumer will be asked to enter an email address, and other personal contact information; including address and phone number. The privacy policy on the site will typically indicate that this information will be sold to other businesses for their own purposes, such as telemarketing and junk mail.
  3. Once this information is entered the consumers may be asked to take part in a series of surveys.
  4. Once the surveys are complete (if they were offered at all), the consumer is given a number of webpages where they have to "participate" in a certain amount of "sponsor offers." The number of offers may vary, but they will end up costing the consumer a great deal of money in fees, subscriptions, and products. In addition, at the end of the process there is no guarantee that the consumer will even receive the branded gift card.

Walmart Practices:

  • Walmart does not solicit online for individuals to complete online surveys for gift cards, nor do we send unsolicited emails asking individuals to participate in our surveys.
  • Walmart does not endorse and is not affiliated with any "sponsor offer" related program or survey;
  • Walmart will never send you e-mails or surveys that are contingent on your making purchases, subscriptions, or fulfilling other financial requirements;
  • Drawings for the receipt survey occur four times a year. Winners of the register receipt gift card are notified by certified mail, never via email.

How to protect yourself:

  • Don't open or respond to unsolicited e-mails offering free gift cards;
  • Don't click on or respond to online ads or websites offering free gift cards;
  • Pay attention to the website URL. If the URL does not match the branding to a legitimate website navigate away from the website.

To report suspected Gift Card Sponsor Offer scams:

If you suspect you have been directed to a phony website claiming to be connected with Walmart, please send an e-mail with the link to abuse@walmart.com. The e-mail abuse team will then work with authorities to put an end to the particular scam.

If you suspect you have received a fraudulent e-mail claiming to be from Walmart, please forward the e-mail directly to Walmart at abuse@walmart.com. For investigatory purposes, please do not cut and paste the e-mail, change the subject line or send it as an attachment.

Additional Resources