By ANNE D’INNOCENZIO
NEW YORK (AP) — The Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday it has sued Walmart for allegedly allowing the use of its money transfer services by scammers who stole “hundreds of millions of dollars” from clients.
In its lawsuit, the agency alleged that for years Walmart failed to properly secure the money transfer services offered in its stores. The agency said Walmart failed to properly train its employees, alert customers and use procedures to allow fraudsters to cash out in its stores. The FTC is asking the court to order Walmart to return money to consumers and impose civil penalties on the company.
“As scammers used its money transfer services to make money, Walmart looked the other way and pocketed millions in fees,” said Samuel Levine, director of the FTC’s Consumer Protection Bureau. , in a press release announcing the action.
Walmart called the lawsuit “factually flawed and legally baseless.” He said the FTC chairman denied Walmart the due process of hearing directly from the company and the Justice Department declined to take the case to court.
Walmart, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, said the agency was seeking to blame the company for a fraud the agency had previously attributed to another company, at a time when that company was under direct federal government supervision.
“Walmart will defend the company’s strong anti-fraud efforts that have helped protect countless consumers, while Walmart has lowered prices and saved consumers approximately $6 billion in money transfer fees. “, did he declare.
In addition to its retail business, Walmart offers consumer financial services in its stores, including money transfers, credit cards, reloadable debit cards, and bill payments.