This past Monday (May 26), dozens of Twitter users went on the social media platform to express their outrage over their information being used to first create fake shopping accounts with the retail company, then receiving auto-generated “Welcome to Walmart” emails with the initial line reading, “Welcome to Walmart, N—–”.
One customer, Courtney Rhodman of Detroit, Michigan shared that she received the email during the late night hours. Once she opened it up and saw the offensive slur, she was furious. Some took to Twitter and posted screenshots of the emails they received.
The timing of this incident couldn’t have been worse for Walmart, with the murder of George Floyd being observed yesterday. “We discovered that an external bad actor created false Walmart accounts with obvious intent to offend our customers,” Walmart said in a company statement. “We were shocked and appealed to see these offensive and unacceptable emails. We’re looking into our sign-up process to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again. We’re also looking into all available means to hold those responsible accountable.” There is a possibility that the customer emails were obtained through a compromised third-party site, which is now the norm online.
The company did not disclose the number of people who had been targeted with these emails, and further stated that their systems were not hacked and no customer data was compromised. They’ve also blocked further emails from being issued. Given how the last controversy went down, Walmart is certainly doing all they can to keep their Memorial Day Weekend sales protected.