The Federal Trade Commission has revealed that it has filed a lawsuit against Walmart for allegedly allowing scam artists who stole “hundreds of millions of dollars” from customers to use its money transfer services.
In the lawsuit, the agency alleged that for many years, Walmart did not secure the money transfer services offered at its stores properly. The agency said Walmart didn’t train its employees properly, did not alert customers, and used features that allowed fraudsters to cash out at its stores. The FTC has asked the court to order Walmart to return money to consumers and impose civil penalties on the company.
In a statement announcing the action, Samuel Levine, Director of FTC’s Customer protection Bureau said: “While scammers used its money transfer services to make off with cash, Walmart looked the other way and pocketed millions in fees.”
Walmart described the lawsuit as “factually flawed and legally baseless.” It said that the chair of FTC denied Walmart the due process of hearing directly from the company, and said the Justice Department refused to take the case to court.
Walmart said further that the agency is trying to blame the company for fraud that the agency already attributed to another company, at a time that company was under the direct supervision of the federal government.
It said: “Walmart will defend the company’s robust anti-fraud efforts that have helped protect countless consumers, all while Walmart has driven down prices and saved consumers an estimated $6 billion in money transfer fees.”
Besides its retail business, Walmart provides financial services like money transfers, credit cards, reloadable debit cards and bill payments to consumers in its stores.
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