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Some Walmart delivery drivers are buying their credentials online — letting anyone deliver goods to your door

Alex Bitter   

Some Walmart delivery drivers are buying their credentials online — letting anyone deliver goods to your door
  • Posts claiming to sell Walmart Spark driver accounts are popping up on social media.
  • The accounts can go for hundreds of dollars depending on whether they're bought or rented.

If you want to work for Walmart's Spark delivery service, you have to sign up and get approved. That can take weeks or months, since many parts of the US have waiting lists full of potential Spark drivers.

There's an alternative, albeit one that violates Walmart's policies: You can message an account on Facebook or Instagram, and someone on the other end will set you up with an account right away for the right price — usually hundreds of dollars.

A quick perusal of social media groups for Spark drivers reveals dozens of posts advertising driver accounts for Walmart's independent contractor-based delivery service. It's one way that some drivers appear to be getting accounts in names other than their own.

The posts offering accounts are particularly common on Instagram. You can also find them on some Facebook groups for Spark drivers.

Drivers can rent or buy Spark accounts for hundreds of dollars

One post, made in July in the now-archived Facebook group "Spark Driver en Español," which has about 8,200 members, tells drivers to message a specific account on Instagram to buy or rent a Spark account.

The account also claims to sell a "bot grabber," or an app that allows users to automatically claim orders, as well as help getting reactivated, according to the post.

Another post from the same group promises accounts for would-be drivers even if they don't have "papers," seemingly a reference to people who don't have legal status in the US.

"We have new SPARK accounts for sell, send us a message right now and get your yourself new SPARK account," another post from an Instagram account with 5,400 followers says. "Very affordable."

Prices for the accounts vary based on whether drivers want to rent or buy them.

A Spark driver in Illinois shared screenshots with Insider showing text message conversations with someone behind one of the many posts in the Spark driver Facebook groups.

The person on the other end quoted the driver $350 to buy a Spark account, according to the messages. The person also offered the driver the option of renting out the account at a weekly rate ($80) or a monthly one ($160).

"I could have gotten an account in less than a day," the Illinois driver told Insider. The driver declined to have his full name appear in this article due to potential retaliation from Walmart, but his identity is known to Insider.

Spark drivers using multiple accounts are common at Walmart stores, drivers have told Insider

"Drivers selling or sharing personal or account information is against the Spark Driver platform terms of use and will result in deactivation from the platform," a Walmart spokesperson told Insider, adding that the retailer uses "manual and automated tools to identify and prevent this behavior."

"Where appropriate, we request the removal of these posts from social platforms and deactivate drivers who are confirmed to be violating the terms of use in this way," the spokesperson added.

The spokesperson also confirmed that Walmart is still rolling out a third-party identity verification feature in its app that compares selfies that drivers are required to take with previously submitted photo ID cards.

Insider reported in August that Walmart was rolling out the feature, though only for Spark contractors in certain areas. The app also asked some drivers to verify themselves every few days or weeks, according to three drivers Insider spoke with. The Walmart spokesperson did not directly address Insider's questions about whether the feature was operating nationwide yet.

Spark drivers around the US previously told Insider that they see their peers using two or three different names to pick up orders at Walmart. The strategy means that a single driver can theoretically take multiple orders or groups of orders at once, according to the drivers Insider spoke with, all of whom only use accounts in their own name. Drivers' earnings are deposited into a digital wallet.

Walmart previously told Insider that "sharing accounts, using another person's account, activating multiple accounts, or entering false information" violates its terms for Spark drivers.

Do you work for Spark or Walmart and want to share information about fraudulent drivers or other aspects of the service? Reach out to this reporter at abitter@insider.com




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