Was Walmart "fined big for raising prices illegally high," and as a result, can consumers apply to get $500 in store credit? No, that's not true: There is no evidence that Walmart has been fined nor is there any evidence of consumers being able to get $500 in store credit.
The claim appeared on Facebook on January 12, 2023. It opened:
WalMart is fined big for raising prices illegally high! Walmart must send out 500$ store credit as settlement. Check now if you're eligible
This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:
(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Mon Jan 16 19:16:09 2023 UTC)
The Facebook page "Settlement for Discrimination" was created on January 12, 2023, according to the page transparency section, the same day the post was shared. The page only has two posts as of January 16, 2023. A Google reverse image search revealed that the image used in the post is publicly available on Walmart's corporate website in a section titled, "Walmart Corporate - Photos From Walmart's Holiday Shopping Season."
Clicking the link in the post takes you to a page that shows Walmart's logo and informs users that if they participate in a four-question survey they could win Walmart gift cards. The website does not appear to be associated with Walmart.
The URL for the page begins with, "jemapell.info" and a warning is shown that the site could be a phishing site. The way the scam usually works is that the link is only available for a short time until enough people have clicked on it.
The site does not mention Walmart was fined due to illegally raising their prices. It states: "Every Friday we choose 10 random users, giving them the chance to win fabulous prizes. Today's prize is a $500 Walmart gift card! There will be 10 lucky winners. Only for those living in the United States!" The first question asks if the user is a man or a woman. Here is a screenshot of the page:
(Source: Jemapell.info screenshot taken on Fri Jan 13 12:34:45 2023 UTC)
A Google search of "Walmart fined big for raising prices illegally high" did not yield any results of news stories about the claim, which would have been a topic of national interest.
Lead Stories reached out to Walmart for comment and Charles Crowson, press office director, responded via email on January 16, 2023. He wrote that Walmart's publicly accessible "Fraud Alerts" page addressed survey scams like the one in the post.
The website specifies: "Gift cards are not given away through Twitter, Facebook, or text message. If you receive a notice through one of these channels, it is likely a scam. Do not click on any links in these messages."
This is how Walmart describes its procedure for awarding gift cards to survey participants:
Walmart In-Store Experience Survey
Walmart offers a survey, located at survey.walmart.com, from invitations appearing on receipts in our stores. Customers are offered entry to the survey through register receipts or emails from our survey team, and the survey can only be completed online. The survey participants may choose to enter a sweepstakes which offers five winners a $1,000 gift card every 3 months, and 750 winners a $100 gift card. Winners are notified via phone and certified mail. Gift cards are not given away through Twitter, Facebook, or text message. If you receive a notice through one of these channels, it is likely a scam. Do not click on any links in these messages.
Lead Stories has reached out to Walmart for a statement and will update the story when a response is received.
Other Lead Stories fact checks of claims about Walmart can be found here.