Walmart says ‘bad actor’ sent racist N-word emails from its account

A "Welcome to Walmart" email was sent to many who hadn't registered for accounts. Their hello was a racist greeting.

Retail superstore Walmart stunned many yesterday when an auto-generated email marked “Welcome to Walmart” arrived in the inboxes of people who hadn’t registered for accounts. 

Upon opening the email, recipients were surprised to find a greeting that read, “Welcome to Walmart, N**ger.” 

The email and its contents started trending on Twitter when users said they received the message Monday after an unknown party registered for Walmart’s online shopping using their email addresses. 

An auto-generated email marked “Welcome to Walmart” arrived in the inboxes of people who hadn’t registered for accounts, and in it, a greeting read, “Welcome to Walmart, N**ger.” (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

One woman, whose avatar appears African American, wrote: “@Walmart What’s the best way to contact you guys for a very inappropriate email my daughter received in their inbox from you?” 

“We discovered that an external bad actor created false Walmart accounts with obvious intent to offend our customers,” read the official response statement from Walmart. “We were shocked and appalled 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.”

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According to a CNN report on the incident, it is not very difficult for bad actors to acquire email addresses. “The actors likely acquired email addresses from an easily and freely available ‘dump’ from a historical third-party compromise,” Vikram Thakur, technical director at Symantec, the security software firm owned by Broadcom, told the network. 

One Twitter user accused a Belgian with a bot and over 750,000 email addresses to change the account-holders’ first names to the n-word. 

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The topic trended on Twitter, with dozens of users complaining of the initial message and a simple auto-generated response encouraging them to delete it. However, some eventually shared that they received a message from the company that maintained the incident was a hack. 

Walmart has not made clear how many people may have received the controversial email message. They assure that they are researching “every means” to hold the person responsible accountable. 

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