Helping you be safe from frauds and scams
Helping you be safe from frauds and scamsWe're always looking out for our customers and their wellbeing. This page can help you steer clear from a variety of frauds and scams out there. We've even included contact information if you'd like to notify us of a scam using our name and/or logo, or to file a report with a government agency.
- Be suspicious of unsolicited emails, phone calls, or text messages asking for personal or financial information.
- Never respond to emails or texts from someone you don't know or whose identity you can't confirm.
- Never provide personal or financial information unless you are certain of the identity of the person or business that is contacting you.
- Never open suspicious attachments or links.
- Never purchase something that was advertised in an unsolicited email.
- Never send money or other type of monetary payment to someone you don't know.
- If you are contacted by someone you don't know, conduct online research. You can search a phrase that describes the situation or look up the email or phone number that contacted you.
- If you're unsure if a phone call or email is really from the company it claims to be, call the number from their legitimate website. Do not call the number that initially called you or one provided in the email.
- Look closely at the sender's email address and embedded URL's. More sophisticated scammers will create fake domains and websites that look nearly identical to the legitimate business.
- Hover your mouse over a link to see the embedded URL. Do not click on the link if the address is different than the display text.
- Do not deposit a check that is sent to you with instructions to wire money back to the sender or a 3rd party. Banks are required by law to make deposited check funds available within days and identifying a fake check can take several weeks. If a check you deposit turns out to be fraudulent, you will be responsible for paying the bank back.
- Regularly monitor your financial statements to detect any fraudulent charges. If an unauthorized charge is made to your account, immediately contact your bank or account provider.
Gift Card & Money Transfer Scams
There are a few different scams of this variety to be aware of:
The scammer calls pretending to be a loved one and claims to be in an emergency situation that requires payment with gift cards or a money transfer. Bail payment, medical expenses, or emergency travel funds are common scenarios used in these schemes. Scammers often target the elderly in these situations, typically impersonating a grandchild or a person of authority (e.g. law enforcement, medical professional or attorney).
The scammer impersonates an IRS employee and threatens legal action or imprisonment if they don't receive payment by money transfer or gift cards for unpaid taxes.
Online Seller Scam
Often taking place on a resale site or online marketplace (e.g. Craigslist, OfferUp), the seller offers an item for a price that seems too good to be true. The scammer requests payment in the form of gift cards or a money transfer and will cut off all means of communication once payment is received.
If you've been scammed into paying with gift cards purchased at a Walgreens store, please contact us at 1-877-865-9130. You will need to provide a copy of your purchase receipt and images of the front and back of the card(s).
We will work with our gift card processor and the 3rd party gift card issuer to attempt to recover any available funds on the cards. Please note that if the account numbers and PINs have been disclosed to the scammer and the balance has been depleted, we will not be able to return any funds back to you. Due to the high volume of reports, the process can take up to twelve weeks to resolve.
Tips to Avoid Gift Card & Money Transfer Payment Scams
- Consider the type of payment being requested. Since credit cards have fraud protection, many social engineers ask for payment through a money transfer or a gift card because it's nearly impossible to get your money back. Reputable companies and government organizations won't request to be paid this way.
- Pay individual sellers for online orders through an official selling platform, such as Etsy, or a payment service like PayPal. These websites typically offer order protection and will issue a refund if a purchase isn't received or an order isn't as described.
- Be aware that a fraudster may use social media to find the names of a potential victim's friends and family to make their story seem more convincing.
- Discuss the situation with someone before reacting. Scammers create a sense of urgency and may even make threats so you are hurried to make a decision. Slow down and reflect on their story, conduct some research, or just talk it through with a friend.
Phishing emails attempt to entice you to click on a link that will take you to a fraudulent website that may seem legitimate. The site may ask you to "login" with your user ID and password so the scammer can then use your login credentials to take over your real account. You may also be asked to input personal or financial information that could expose you to future compromises, financial losses, and/or identity theft. The website could also contain malicious code or the email itself may have an attachment that installs malware on your device.
As with caller ID spoofing, phishing emails may use Walgreens' name and/or logo to make it appear legitimate. However, emails officially from Walgreens will only come from the following domains: @walgreens.com, @rxorder.walgreens.com, email@example.com, or @e.walgreens.com. Most emails we send regarding Balance Rewards, Photo, Vision, and Walgreens.com will come from the email address Walgreens@e.walgreens.com. The example below shows the sender's email address is not one authentically belonging to Walgreens.
Walgreens will never send you emails asking for your credit card number, social security number, or other personally identifiable information for any reason. If you are ever asked for this information, you can be confident it is not from Walgreens.
Phishing Email Red Flags
- The domain of the sender's email address does not include the name of the business it's impersonating or it varies from the company's legitimate domain.
- The name of the company is in the username portion of the sender's email address.
- The embedded URL of a link doesn't match its display text in the email.
- It claims you won a contest when you didn't enter one or are approved for something you didn't apply for.
- An unknown email address is cc'd on the email.
- The email offers a free gift but requires payment for a fee, taxes, or shipping charges.
- It contains an impersonal salutation such as "Dear Shopper" or "Greetings".
- The email conveys a strong sense of urgency that is intended to make you ignore red flags.
- It has spelling errors and/or poor grammar.
- It offers something that seems too good to be true.
- The email contains an attachment that the message urges you to open.
Examples of Phishing Emails Impersonating Walgreens
Free Gift Card or Prize
These emails claim they are offering a free gift as part of a giveaway. Walgreens does not offer these types of promotions and we do not contact our customers through unsolicited email campaigns.
Reward for Completing a Survey
These emails are similar to the previous example except they claim they will send a free gift in exchange for completing a survey.
Customer survey requests that are legitimately from Walgreens are offered at the bottom of an in-store purchase receipt or sent from the email address Walgreens@e.walgreens.com to customers who make a Ship to Store or Walgreens.com order. If you receive a survey request via email that states it's from Walgreens and you didn't recently make an online purchase or it offers anything in return for participating in the survey, you should delete it.
Loyalty/Reward Points Expiring
Walgreens will inform Balance Rewards members when their points are expiring, however, this email is not from a legitimate Walgreens email address; there are no redemption codes and Walgreens will never ask you to claim points.
You will only receive an order confirmation email if you completed an order on Walgreens.com. If you did not place an order, the email is a scam; the perpetrators are expecting you to be concerned and click on a link in the email without considering its legitimacy. If you would like to see if an order was placed using your account, sign in directly using the Walgreens App or go to Walgreens.com.
Password reset emails are only legitimate if you initiated the process on Walgreens.com or the Walgreens App. If you did not initiate the password reset, the email is a scam. To review a list of devices recently used to access your account, visit the Security Information page.
How to Report Phishing Emails
- To report it directly to Walgreens, forward the email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- To report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), forward the email to email@example.com or visit their website.
- To report it to the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG), forward the email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website.
Mystery Shopping Scams
A mystery shopper is an individual hired to evaluate the customer experience of a business by posing as a regular shopper. While legitimate mystery shopping opportunities exist, Walgreens does not utilize these types of programs for our business. If an offer to be a mystery shopper at Walgreens is received, please be advised this is not a legitimate job opportunity and likely a scam.
In this type of scam, an unsolicited email advertising a mystery shopping position is received and offers a link to fill out an application. Once the scammers have the applicant's personal information, they will send a follow-up email letting them know they've been selected for the job and within a week or two a check will be received in the mail.
The scammers claim the check is to cover purchases at the store while mystery shopping, as well as payment for the job. They instruct the victim to go to the store and buy gift cards and send them images of the gift cards with the PIN scratched off. Once the scammers receive the gift card information, they typically cut communication with the victim. Within a few days, the bank notifies the victim that the check is fake and since the majority of the check funds have already been spent, they are responsible for paying the bank back for the amount of the check.
If you receive an email or text message offering a mystery shopping position with Walgreens, avoid responding or clicking embedded links and immediately delete it.
Examples of Mystery Shopper Scam Emails
The following are examples of scam emails advertising fake mystery shopping positions with Walgreens. These are not legitimate job offers.
Scammers are increasingly targeting job seekers to gain access to a victim's personal information or deceive them into sending money. Oftentimes they will pose as a representative from a real company, like Walgreens, to appear more legitimate and may even impersonate an actual employee, such as an executive from Human Resources. That way, if a potential victim conducts an online search of the individual they believe they're communicating with, they will be able to confirm a person with that name works at the company and be more likely to comply with what the scammer is asking them to do.
Fraudulent schemes have been identified where potential victims are sent checks by scammers for the alleged purpose of training or equipment expenses, which will later be identified by the bank as counterfeit. However, banks are required by law to make deposited check funds available within days and identifying a fake check can take several weeks. Once the check is deposited and the funds are available, the scammer may claim the amount of the check was an overpayment and request the victim to send part of it back. But because the check is fraudulent, the victim will be responsible for paying the bank back for the full amount.
Please be aware of suspicious recruitment or employment opportunities using these and similar types of tactics. Additional activity has been reported involving scammers creating fictitious Walgreens email addresses and conducting interviews via social media/instant messaging services (e.g. Yahoo Messenger, Google Hangouts). Walgreens does not use these services for the hiring process, nor do we solicit payment for job applications, training expenses or equipment.
If you are concerned that recruitment activity or an offer of employment with Walgreens might be a scam, please verify by searching for the posting on our website or email email@example.com to report the incident.
Caller ID Spoofing
Caller ID spoofing is the act of changing the phone number and/or name of a caller displayed on the recipient's caller ID. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) prohibits the use of this practice with the intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongfully obtain anything of value. To make a scam more convincing, fraudsters may spoof a Walgreens phone number so it appears the call is coming from a legitimate business. Walgreens is not affiliated with this type of activity.
If you are contacted by a spoofed number:
- File a complaint with the FCC over the phone (1-888-225-5322) or online.
- File a report with your local police department.
- If financial information was given, immediately contact your bank.