Walmart Illustration 143168216 © Alexey Novikov

REUTERS reports:

WASHINGTON, June 28 (REUTERS) – The U.S. Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday it sued Walmart Inc (WMT.N), alleging the company had done too little to prevent scam artists from using its money transfer services for fraud that cost consumers “tens of millions of dollars annually.”

Walmart, which offers some financial services, acts as an agent for money transfer services such as MoneyGram (MGI.O) and Western Union (WU.N).

For years, the FTC said, Walmart policy was to issue payouts even when fraud was suspected, and that the retailer failed to take other actions to prevent consumers from being defrauded.

“Consumers have reported tens of millions of dollars annually in fraud-induced money transfers processed by Walmart employees,” the FTC said in a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

The complaint alleges that the retailer “is well aware” that fraudsters posing as everything from distressed grandchildren to government agents, or employing other known scams, had used Walmart’s money transfer services to get cash to fraud rings…

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