How to Protect Against Walmart Gift Card Scams in 2024

Updated on: April 30, 2024
Fact Checked by Sam Boyd
Manual Thomas Manual Thomas
Updated on: April 30, 2024

Short on time? Here’s how to protect against Walmart gift card scams in 2024:

  1. Install a powerful antivirus. Norton is my favorite choice in 2024 — it offers perfect malware detection rates, excellent web security, a VPN, dark web monitoring, and more.
  2. Run a full device scan. Run a full scan, and once the scan is complete, let the antivirus remove any malicious or potentially unwanted programs it finds.
  3. Stay safe. Avoid shady websites and don’t click on suspicious links or downloads. Also, use the web protection tools and real-time protection included in Norton to protect yourself from all forms of threats in the future.

If you keep getting ads promising free Walmart gift cards, don’t click on any links or enter any information. It’s a popular scam that uses surveys and fake websites that mimic Walmart’s branding to steal your personal information, including your name, address, email, and credit card details.

Falling for this scam could leave you vulnerable to unauthorized subscriptions, fraudulent charges, and identity theft, so it’s really important to use a reliable antivirus. With the right antivirus, you can detect and prevent malware attacks and phishing scams, and keep your devices and sensitive information safe.

For the best protection, I recommend Norton. It comes with a powerful malware scanner, excellent web protection, and extra security tools. All plans are backed by a 60-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out risk-free.

Threat name Walmart gift card scam
Threat type Social engineering, phishing
Devices affected Mobile and desktop devices connected to the internet
Sources Emails, text messages, social media, phone calls, fake websites, online ads and pop-ups
Symptoms Unsolicited communication, requests for personal information, payment requests, pressure tactics
Damage Financial loss, identity theft, damaged credit score


How to Detect, Remove & Protect Against Walmart Gift Card Scams (Step-By-Step Guide)

Step 1. Install Reliable Antivirus Software

First of all, you need to install a trustworthy antivirus — I highly recommend Norton due to its flawless malware detection and web protection tools.

How to Detect, Remove & Protect Against Walmart Gift Card Scams (Step-By-Step Guide)

Visit the official Norton website, choose a suitable plan, and download the antivirus software. Once downloaded, launch the Norton installer from your file manager. The installation wizard will guide you through the process — simply follow the prompts and adjust any settings as required.

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Step 2. Run a Full Scan

If you think you’ve fallen victim to the Walmart gift card scam, scan your device for malware. Your antivirus will detect and remove any malicious files and get to the cause of the problem. Redirects, pop-ups, system slowdowns, or apps you don’t remember installing are all signs that your device is infected with malware.

A full scan will analyze every file on your device, searching for any malicious software or threats that could be related to Walmart gift card scams.

How to Detect, Remove & Protect Against Walmart Gift Card Scams (Step-By-Step Guide)

In Norton, Navigate to the Device Security tab, click Scans, and then select Full Scan. Confirm your choice, and let the scan begin.

Depending on your system’s specifications and the number of files, this process could take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.

Once the scan is complete, you’ll be presented with a list of all the detected threats. Review this list carefully, and unless you have a specific reason to keep any of the flagged items, select the option to remove or quarantine all detected threats. This step is important to eliminate any malicious software that may be related to the gift card scam.

How to Detect, Remove & Protect Against Walmart Gift Card Scams (Step-By-Step Guide)

After removing the threats, restart your device to ensure that any remaining malicious processes are terminated. After the restart, it’s recommended to run another full scan to ensure that your system is completely clean and free of any remaining threats.

How to Detect, Remove & Protect Against Walmart Gift Card Scams (Step-By-Step Guide)

Step 3. Enable Real-Time Protection

A very important antivirus feature is real-time protection — it scans all incoming files and links before they’re downloaded or accessed on your device. If you accidentally click on a suspicious link or download a sketchy file, good real-time protection will detect the threat and block it from ever executing.

To enable Norton’s real-time protection, go to Device Security > Advanced and toggle on Auto-Protect. It’s on by default, but it never hurts to make sure it’s enabled.

How to Detect, Remove & Protect Against Walmart Gift Card Scams (Step-By-Step Guide)

Step 4. Turn on Your Web Protection

Phishing scams, including the Walmart gift card scam, are the primary methods scammers use to steal your information, so you’ll need good web protection to detect them. Norton’s anti-phishing protection is really good — in my tests, it detected all phishing sites that tried to steal my information, even more than Chrome or Firefox.

How to Detect, Remove & Protect Against Walmart Gift Card Scams (Step-By-Step Guide)

To stay safe, download Norton’s browser extension on your browser. Or, if you prefer, use its standalone secure web browser. If you’re using the browser extension, make sure it’s always enabled so you don’t accidentally visit a malicious site.

Step 5. Use an Ad Blocker

Installing an effective ad blocker can further protect you from Walmart gift card scams — it prevents many malicious ads from displaying, reducing the risk of accidentally clicking on one containing malware or phishing scams. Check out our list of the best ad blockers in 2024 to avoid annoying ads, as well as trackers.

Step 6. Uninstall Suspicious Browser Extensions

This step may differ depending on the browser you are using, but it should be similar. First, access your browser’s extension or add-on manager by clicking the puzzle icon (or similar icon) in the upper-right corner of your browser.

How to Detect, Remove & Protect Against Walmart Gift Card Scams (Step-By-Step Guide)

Then scroll through the list of extensions you’ve installed. If you come across any that you do not recognize, it is recommended that you remove them immediately and run another full system scan of your device.

How to Detect, Remove & Protect Against Walmart Gift Card Scams (Step-By-Step Guide)

Best Antiviruses for Protecting Against Walmart Gift Card Scams in 2024

Quick summary of the best antiviruses for protecting against Walmart gift card scams:

  • 🥇 1. Norton — Best antivirus for protecting against Walmart gift card scams and other threats in 2024.
  • 🥈 2. Bitdefender — Cloud-based antivirus with powerful web protection (great for older or slower devices).
  • 🥉 3. TotalAV — The most beginner-friendly antivirus on the market, with a top-tier ad blocker.

How Does the Walmart Gift Card Scam Work?

The Walmart gift card scam is a sneaky method cybercriminals use to steal personal and financial information from their victims. Here’s how it works:

  • Baiting with fraudulent ads — Scammers create fake online ads and websites promoting free Walmart gift cards worth hundreds of dollars. These ads appear on social media, in emails, and even on legitimate websites through malvertising techniques.
  • Survey on the scam website — When victims click the ads, they’re taken to a landing page and asked to complete a short survey with personal details like gender, age, location, and shopping habits at Walmart. This information helps scammers better target potential victims.
  • Redeeming the “gift card” — After the survey, victims are congratulated and instructed to click a button or link to claim their prize, often a $500 Walmart gift card. This leads to the next stage of the scam.
  • Paying a small fee — Victims are then asked to pay a small “shipping and handling” fee, usually $2 to $5, by entering their credit card details on what appears to be an official Walmart website.
  • Capturing personal and financial data — Once the credit card information is submitted and the small fee is paid, scammers capture the financial and personal details to make fraudulent purchases or sell them on the dark web.
  • Unexpected subscription charges — Within days, victims start seeing additional unexpected subscription charges (e.g., $29-$99 per month) on their credit card statements for services they never signed up for.
  • Difficulty canceling charges — When victims try to cancel these fraudulent charges, scammers make it extremely difficult, often denying refund claims under the pretense that the subscriptions were agreed to.

What to Do if You’ve Fallen for a Walmart Gift Card Scam

Let’s say you provided personal or financial information in response to a Walmart gift card scam. In this case, it’s important to take immediate action to minimize potential damage and protect your identity. Follow these steps:

  • Cancel your credit/debit cards — As soon as you realize you’ve been scammed, call your bank or card issuer and request that they cancel your compromised cards immediately. This will prevent further unauthorized charges.
  • Place a fraud alert — Contact one of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion) and request an initial fraud alert be placed on your credit report. This makes it harder for someone to open new accounts in your name.
  • Dispute fraudulent charges — Carefully review your statements and report any unauthorized transactions to your bank or card provider. Request that they reverse the fraudulent charges and issue refunds. Be persistent in disputing charges you didn’t approve.
  • Change passwords and enable two-factor authentication — Update the passwords for all accounts that used the same login credentials as the scam website. The best way to go about this is by using a reliable password manager. Also, enable 2FA wherever possible to add an extra layer of security.
  • Monitor your credit reports — Regularly check your credit reports from for any suspicious activity or accounts you didn’t open. Consider signing up for a credit monitoring service.
  • Report the scam — File reports about the fraudulent Walmart gift card scam with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), your state attorney general’s office, and the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), and notify Walmart directly at Also, report the scam ads to the website or platform where you saw them.
  • Scan for malwareRun a full system scan with a reliable antivirus to detect and remove any malicious programs that may have been installed during the scam process.

How to Protect Against Walmart Gift Card Scams & Other Phishing Scams

  • Use a reputable antivirus — Install a reliable antivirus program with powerful web protection like Norton. It will detect and block any phishing scams before they can affect you.
  • Keep software and OS updated — Always use the latest versions of your operating system, web browsers, and other software. Outdated programs often contain vulnerabilities that malware exploits.
  • Be cautious when installing programs — Carefully review installation prompts and agreements to avoid installing potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) or malware. Use custom installations and deselect any unfamiliar add-ons or extensions.
  • Use an ad blocker — Ad blockers prevent malicious ads, pop-ups, and phishing attempts from reaching you in the first place.
  • Exercise caution with downloads — Only download files or programs from trusted, reputable sources. Shady websites and torrents often bundle malware with their downloads.
  • Use a password manager — Create a strong, unique password for each account using a password manager and enable 2FA for added security.
  • Use a high-quality VPN — Many of the top VPN providers protect you against malicious websites, hide your IP address, and secure your privacy.
  • Don’t ever click on suspicious links or attachments — Avoid opening links or attachments from unfamiliar or suspicious sources, as they may lead to phishing scams or malware.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Walmart gift card survey legitimate?

No, the Walmart gift card survey is a scam designed to steal your information. Scammers use fake offers to get your personal and payment details. It’s important to stay alert and not share your details on suspicious sites. Norton antivirus helps by blocking such scams and protecting your data from these frauds. Always verify offers directly through Walmart’s official channels.

Can Norton protect me from pop-up scams?

Yes, Norton can effectively protect you from pop-up scams, including those pretending to offer Walmart gift cards. It scans and blocks harmful content, preventing scams from affecting you. Norton’s features are built to recognize and stop these threats, keeping your device safe from pop-ups that might lead to scams or malware. Using Norton keeps you a step ahead of scammers.

What exactly is the Walmart gift card scam?

The Walmart gift card scam tricks you into thinking you can win a gift card by entering personal details. There’s no real gift card. Scammers set up fake websites and ads to collect your information and money. Understanding this helps you stay clear of such scams. Always check the legitimacy of such offers directly with Walmart.

How do scammers run the Walmart gift card scam?

Scammers create fake ads and websites that look like they’re from Walmart, promising gift cards for surveys and a small shipping fee. It’s a trick to get your credit card information and sign you up for unwanted services. Recognizing these fake sites helps avoid scams. Verify any such promotions directly through Walmart’s authentic contact points.

How do scammers spread the word about the scam?

They use ads on social media, YouTube, emails, and texts to reach potential victims. These ads look real but are designed to deceive you into giving personal information. Knowing how scammers spread these scams helps you stay cautious and avoid clicking on suspicious links. Always ignore unsolicited offers, especially those too good to be true.

How can I tell it’s a scam?

Watch for poor spelling, non-HTTPS websites, requests for personal information, incorrect logos, and upfront fees. These are signs of a scam. Being aware and cautious helps you spot and avoid these scams. Always verify such offers through official channels before engaging.

Will Walmart ask for my info for a gift card?

No, Walmart will never ask for your credit card or personal information to award a gift card. Any such request is a scam. Ignoring these fake promotions is crucial. Always use Walmart’s official website or verified social media for genuine offers.

What if I gave my info to a scam site?

If you’ve accidentally given your information to a scam site, contact your bank and card issuer immediately to protect your accounts. Reporting the scam to authorities like the FTC is also important. Taking these steps helps minimize the damage and prevent further issues.

Can I get my money back if I paid?

Getting your money back can be challenging but is possible. Contact your bank to dispute the charges by explaining the scam. Persistence is key in these situations. Many people successfully recover their money by firmly pressing their claims with evidence of the scam.

How do I know if a Walmart gift card offer is real?

Check Walmart’s official website or its genuine social media pages for real offers. Legitimate promotions won’t ask for personal details just to participate. This helps distinguish real offers from scams. Staying skeptical of too-good-to-be-true offers is a good practice.

How can I avoid scams like this?

Avoid clicking on random ads or links, and use ad blockers. Never share personal or payment information based on prize promises. Always check the authenticity of offers by visiting the official site of a brand. This approach significantly reduces your risk of falling for scams.

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About the Author
Manual Thomas
Updated on: April 30, 2024

About the Author

Manual Thomas is a writer at SafetyDetectives. He is a cybersecurity enthusiast and software engineer who has been in the industry for over 5 years, specializing in analyzing the latest developments in online security, such as new threats and best practices for remaining secure online. Manual is also a passionate gamer, linguist, and traveler who always looks for new and intriguing places to visit.