In an age of increasing popularity of self-checkout kiosks and avoidance of in-person interactions, plenty of people ring themselves up at Walmart and other retailers. While some people resent having to do the work of checking out their items because fewer cashiers are available, you may want to watch out for the Walmart receipt scam.
One TikTok user posted a video about her recent experience at Walmart. A strange charge showed up on her Walmart receipt, and she promptly questioned a store associate. Fortunately, the woman had her money refunded for the mystery charge, but she wanted to let the public know about the possibility of such an unknown charge, whether it’s technically a “scam” or an accident.
A TikTok Creator Made a PSA for Shoppers About the Walmart Receipt Scam
Julia Taylor, who goes by @julesakajuliataylor on TikTok, posted a video explaining what happened to her on a recent Walmart run. The Sun reported that her video begins with the following: “This is a PSA for all of my shoppers: anyone who buys groceries, anyone who goes to the store, anyone who shops. Always check your receipts.”
Following her time in the self-checkout lane at Walmart one day, Taylor noted that she checked her receipt and thought the total was a bit too high. Although her initial thought was to dismiss it, chalking the higher total up to inflation.
Once back to her vehicle, Taylor decided that she should check the items she had bought against the receipt. She noticed a charge for $19.86 and didn’t think it matched her purchases. After scanning the receipt on the app Fetch, she saw the item listed as “universal unknown item.”
The TikTok Video Made It Clear That Walmart’s Customer Service Handled the Situation Well
Taylor said that when she returned to the store, the customer service representative handled everything well and was “very kind, very gracious, very helpful.” The person working with her looked up the item’s number and saw nothing pictured, so it was clear that she hadn't purchased anything fitting that price.
“I was very thankful that they did and thankful that I caught it, but y’all, this is a warning to check your receipts,” said Taylor. She explained that had it been for a smaller amount like $5, she might not have even noticed.
Follow These Tips to Prevent Getting Scammed in Self-Checkout Lanes
As with any kind of technology, scammers are quick to prey on innocent customers. Whether it’s through credit card skimmers at gas station pumps, distracting customers while they enter their PIN, or some kind of “unknown charge,” there are ways to protect yourself while shopping.
Many viewers of Taylor’s TikTok video were quick to comment that they always check their receipts from self-checkout lanes before leaving the store. Some believe that Walmart knows of the scam and doesn’t try to prevent it. Checking your receipts (or checking prices while ringing up items) can help keep you safe.
Follow basic security guidelines whenever paying, whether in self-service lanes or a regular cashier’s lane. First of all, don’t be distracted by what's going on around you — scammers could be trying to create a diversion so they can see your personal information when you pay. Guard your debit or credit card carefully and put it away immediately.
It's important to pay attention while ringing up your purchases. Watch the prices as they show up at the register, and be sure to flag down an employee for assistance if anything looks “off.” They can help ensure your items ring up at the correct prices and remove any unknown charges, such as the one Taylor had for almost $20.