Thief uses Richmond woman’s identity to shop online

Updated: Sep. 18, 2019 at 9:36 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - If you get an email saying your order is being processed, act quickly if it’s a purchase you did not authorize.

One Richmond woman, Lynda Sharp Anderson, says a thief actually used her identity to order a $1,100 iPhone on Walmart’s website.

A “Hello Lynda!" email from Walmart attracted her attention informing her of the delivery date for a Straight Talk iPhone from Walmart.

“A Straight Talk phone, I would never order anything like that,” Lynda said.

She panicked after closely reading the words “We’re processing your order now," with the method of payment showing the last four digits of her MasterCard, and the total amount.

“$1,158.29 was already taken by the time I realized what was happening. It was taken out of my account that my mortgage was in. I was hysterical at the time because I don’t have $1,100 dollars to play with," she said.

The shipping address was to Lynda’s home, which has her thinking it was an inside job.

Lynda says she purchased a handbag online from Walmart a couple months ago so they had her banking information.

“That’s my theory. Somebody might have shown up at my home to get the phone to claim it. Somebody could have been working with a delivery company to tell them what time it was going to be delivered," she said.

Lynda says she called her bank first and canceled her credit card. Then, called Walmart but could not connect to anyone who could explain or offer protection from additional financial damages.

"The employee said she was in Central America. Well that gave me absolutely no comfort that she was even listening to me. She said I don’t know but I can offer you a $15 dollar gift card that you can use online. I’m having an issue with you online. $15 and you’ve taken $1,100 from me.”

Lynda made all the right calls. Informing her bank and taking a second look at the “Hello Lynda” email and in it a request to cancel which she clicked. She got her money back.

“As mysteriously as it came out, it went back. Yes. That’s why this is so crazy for me,” she said.

NBC12 reached out to Walmart’s media team, who acknowledged receiving the inquiry but did not answer any questions.

Instead, they sent Lynda an email about changing her passwords, online safety tips and a link where she can fill out an identity theft form and Walmart’s Global Investigations Team will tell her more about the transaction.

The problem is the link shows page not found.

“They didn’t provide me with the customer service that I think I deserve for having had something like this happen to me," Lynda said.

Walmart says there are many ways unauthorized charges can happen and how thieves can get into your accounts including clicking links from emails you don’t recognize.

Meantime, Lynda is asking for free credit monitoring. There’s no word yet whether Walmart will comply.

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