Gift card scams have become increasingly common in recent years, but Walmart has developed a technology called Redemption to combat this issue. The technology was created in response to a surge in victim-assisted gift card fraud incidents. In these scams, victims are tricked into purchasing Walmart gift cards and providing the pin or gift card number to scammers posing as government agencies or businesses. The scammers would create a sense of urgency and demand immediate payment through a gift card.
With Redemption, Walmart can detect red flags for gift card fraud and freeze the funds during the transaction, preventing the scammers from accessing the money. This technology has proven successful in stopping these crimes, with calls to Walmart's law enforcement response team decreasing by more than half. The intercepted funds are then shifted into an escrow account and returned to consumers through the U.S. Secret Service's Victim Witness Program.
Since the implementation of Walmart's program, the government has already returned $4 million to thousands of customers. Walmart's goal is not only to prevent this crime but also to ensure that the money is returned to the victims. The company has increased awareness of gift card fraud through in-store and online signage and has provided additional training to its staff to help detect potential fraudulent transactions.
Walmart is also actively involved in combating gift card fraud as a member of the Elder Gift Card Fraud Task Force, led by the National Cyber Forensic Training Alliance. This task force specifically focuses on addressing victim-assisted gift card fraud.
Overall, Walmart's Redemption technology has made a significant difference in preventing gift card scams and protecting consumers. By freezing funds and working with law enforcement agencies, Walmart aims to not only stop these crimes but also return the money to the rightful owners. The company's efforts extend beyond technology, with increased awareness and training to further combat gift card fraud.