Ken Paxton
Consumer Protection

Beware of Phony "Wal-Mart Shopping Spree"

Our office has received calls from consumers who have been solicited by telephone with offers of a $500 "Shopping Spree," supposedly sponsored by Wal-Mart. The caller tries to get the consumer's bank account number to collect a fee of $4.95, supposedly for the shipping and handling of vouchers. We urge consumers never to disclose financial information for any reason whatsoever to callers making unsolicited offers. In this case, the promotion described by the caller is a complete fabrication. Wal-Mart is making no such offer.

ABOUT CONSUMER ALERTS - The Office of the Attorney General accepts consumer complaints about businesses. When a pattern of complaints warrants intervention, the Attorney General can file a civil lawsuit under consumer protection statutes, sometimes with the result that a company is required to pay restitution to consumers -- see our Major Lawsuits page. However, when a consumer is swindled by a con artist, filing a complaint cannot help. Civil litigation can sometimes put a very unscrupulous business out of action, but often cannot produce restitution.

Individual con artists generally fall under the jurisdiction of a criminal prosecutor -- in Texas, this is the district or county attorney. But even when they are charged and convicted, these individuals usually have spent the money as fast as they have stolen it. A person who is the victim of fraud should report the incident to the police or sheriff. But by far the best thing is for consumers to be aware of fraud, so they are not swindled in the first place. For this reason, the Office of the Attorney General posts these Consumer Alerts about possible scams and schemes that come to our attention through citizen contacts to our office or other sources.