Walmart Sued Over Drained Green Dot Gift Cards
A new class action lawsuit claims that Walmart allows scammers to steal Green Dot prepaid Visa card information. The retail giant is accused of being negligent to the issue, while knowing that these cards are susceptible to fraud. This involves several prepaid Visa cards, including products through Green Dot Bank.
Plaintiff Guillermo Espinoza says he purchased two $500 prepaid Green Dot Visa cards in February 2019, which he intended to use to pay his rent in March. The day after he purchased the Green Dot cards, Espinoza reportedly attempted to make a payment on his rent but was denied due to “insufficient funds.” He went back to the Walmart store where he purchased them and asked an associate for guidance. The employee reportedly told him to try again later in the day or the next day, “stating that she believed it may just take a few days for the cards to activate.”
He also called the toll free number on the back of the cards and was told by the automated system that his cards had an available balance of $499 and $500, respectively. He attempted to use his cards again and learned that one of his cards had a posted transaction for $498.74 at a Walmart in Hemet, Calif. His other card reportedly had a “nearly identical” transaction for a $497.74 charge at the same Walmart.
He attempted to dispute the charges with Green Dot but the bank allegedly directed him towards Walmart. He talked to the manager at the Hemet Walmart who told him that similar “scams” had recently occurred. Card information is apparently compromised and they’re used by scammers soon after being activated.
He was told by Walmart that they could not do anything to help him because they were “not liable for those Visa gift cards.” He was then directed back to Green Dot Bank despite having already talked to the company. Green Dot allegedly said they too were not liable for the cards and suggested that this sort of scam was common.
According to the Walmart, Green Dot class action, Espinoza was told that scammers obtain the Green Dot card information prior to genuine purchases. After customers purchase the cards, scammers reportedly attempt $1 purchases to see if the cards are activated. After the products are activated, scammers are allegedly free to spend the rest of the available balance. You can read more here about how to protect yourself, or at least minimize the chances of being scammed.
Espinoza argues that Walmart and Green Dot Bank do not sufficiently protect the information on the pre-paid cards, making them susceptible to scams and fraud. Espinoza seeks to represent a Class of California consumers who purchased Green Dot Visa prepaid cards from Walmart with balances of more than $50.