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Identity fraud endangers Walmart’s delivery platform

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TrustCloud | Identity fraud endangers Walmart's delivery platform

Spark, the order delivery platform of the American multinational Walmart, is facing a problem that threatens the integrity of the service: drivers are using fake identities to maximize their earnings.

Account management infringement


etail giant Walmart, which operates thousands of stores in 28 countries, launched an order delivery platform in 2018 named Spark. The application functions within the United States like Uber Eats and other delivery apps. Drivers receive orders, collect them from a Walmart center, and deliver them to the customer’s address. Over the past year, an increase in fraud associated with the service has been observed: identity theft, account hacking, or application manipulation. 

Some drivers have been picking up and delivering orders under different names, raising serious concerns about the authenticity and reliability of Spark platform drivers. Also, according to a complaint by a group of drivers, many of them make use of tactics to monopolize orders. The first of these techniques is the use of multiple phones that they keep with the order reception application open. The second is the use of bots, GPS modifiers, and other third-party applications that facilitate the mass and automatic entry of orders. This irregular behavior means a small number of drivers benefit from a higher volume of work at the expense of those who use the platform honestly. 

Alarms were raised when Spark drivers began receiving confusing messages about canceled orders for no apparent reason or orders that had not been delivered. In some cases, these employees’ accounts were deactivated for allegedly failing to perform their duties in accordance with company policy, resulting in protests to support services. 

The fact that some drivers may be working under false identities highlights a serious security breach. According to the complaints filed, Walmart cannot guarantee that Spark drivers are who they say they are. The growth in the number of platform subscribers over the past year has only exacerbated the problem.

New measures to strengthen employee verification 

In response to the crisis, Walmart said through a spokesperson that it takes the reliability of its systems very seriously. To combat fraud, they encourage their drivers to report irregular situations. They assure that they continuously work to improve their anti-fraud techniques, adopting new solutions, and maintain a strict policy of warnings and deactivation of accounts with anomalous behavior. The problem is that these protocols were also flawed, disabling legitimate accounts that appeared to be fraudulent when in fact they were drivers that had been hacked.  

However, in a recent development, Walmart started implementing an additional identity verification procedure. As part of this process, drivers regularly take photos of themselves using Spark on their mobile phones to ensure that they match the image on their official ID. 

This fraud issue not only affects drivers who work according to the rules, but it can also pose a security problem for customers. Walmart requires drivers during the onboarding process as a new member of the company to present a criminal background check certificate. Potentially, delivering goods under false identities could jeopardize customers, who share their data and let drivers into their properties. 

Identity theft and creation of fake profiles 

In 2021, a similar fraud was recorded, culminating in the arrest of 19 individuals. These suspects, all Brazilian citizens, created fake driver profiles with various transport and delivery companies, using around 2,000 stolen identities. They later marketed these profiles to drivers who would otherwise not meet the requirements to work in those services, including those who did not pass background checks or were not eligible to work in the United States. The plan also included using fraudulent profiles to exploit company bonus programs, as well as using automated bots and GPS spoofing technology to increase earnings obtained through fake driver profiles. This plan was carried out from January 2019 to April 2021, and it affected at least five different companies. 

Advanced onboarding processes against fraud 

To make it truly difficult for fraudsters, large companies must take the onboarding processes of new employees very seriously. Beyond the economic consequences, they face lost trust and a damaged reputation that can be even more difficult to recover from. 

To ensure a robust and reliable onboarding process, it is advisable to have providers who deploy integrated identity verification solutions that prevent duplications and security gaps. These solutions not only enhance employee onboarding but also open the possibility of implementing continuous monitoring protocols to verify over time that workers are not using multiple accounts or impersonating someone else. 

TrustCloud VideoID facilitates agile onboarding and continuous monitoring 

Solutions like TrustCloud VideoID, which adds multiple configurable security layers to a robust video identification procedure, are a powerful ally for delivery or chauffeur-driven car rental companies. Request a free demo now and avoid economic and reputation consequences in your company. 

VideoID seamlessly integrates into the most demanding KYC (Know Your Customer) strategies. It quickly dispels any doubts about the identity of new hires and certifies the accuracy of the information provided by candidates. 

The VideoID video identification process takes just 3 minutes. In assisted mode, our fraud expert team guides the user step by step in real-time. In unassisted mode, the platform provides a set of very intuitive instructions that users, in this case, drivers, can follow to obtain the verification result in moments. 

Configurable security layers for seamless identity verification 

  • Official identity document analysis: By simply presenting the document to the camera on both sides, our system reads MRZ codes, automatically extracts data using state-of-the-art OCR with AI (AICR) technology. Subsequent back-office analysis adds extra security to the process. 
  • Advanced biometrics: The platform compares the captured image of the employee’s face with that of the presented document, thanks to Facematch technology. 
  • Proof of life: An additional life detection test can be added. With simple movements, this functionality ensures that the user is present on the other side of the screen at that moment. 
  • Deepfake detection: Implemented through our platform in real-time identification procedures and retrospective data analysis. This coverage extends to the manipulation of both images and videos, backed by a specialized team in artificial intelligence and cybersecurity dedicated to staying updated on the latest trends and techniques in deepfake generation. 
  • OTP (One-Time Password): Sending a code to the user’s device to confirm that the data is correct and proceed with the verification. 

Applying cutting-edge technological solutions like VideoID not only strengthens the authentication and security of drivers throughout their lifecycle but also sends a clear message about the company’s commitment to integrity and reliability on its delivery platform. 

Request a TrustCloud VideoID demo now and prevent fraud. 

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