Are Banks Blocking Large Walmart Check Card Purchases?

Josh finds himself unable to use his Bank of America check card to make large purchases at Walmart. When he calls customer service, he’s told the bank blocks large purchases at the store because such transactions are “considered a risk.”

He writes:

This is the third time this has happened to me, so I figured it was time to write about it.

In July my wife and I moved to the D.C. metro area. Now we are not big Walmart shoppers or fans for that matter. However we needed to buy a mass amount of supplies and figured this would be a good way to save money. The first purchase was for $450.00. The credit authorization would not go through. There was several thousand dollars in the checking account. When I called BofA to find out what was going on, the phone representative told me that my card was flagged because people who spend large amounts of money at Walmart are considered a risk and that my identity would need to be confirmed.

Fast forward a couple weeks later, same Walmart, and another big purchase. My card was flagged again. I was told the exact same thing that the first rep told me.

Fast forward to about 30 minutes ago. After purchasing a portable dishwasher on walmart.com, I received an email from BofA telling me that there is “Irregular Check Card Activity” and to call a toll free number. I called the number and again was forced to confirm my identity.

This only happens when I make large purchases at Walmart. I appreciate the close eye on things by BofA to a degree, but where were they a few years ago playing Russian Roulette with our investment money on mortgage backed securities?!?!

It’s not often I would go to bat for Wal-Mart, but this is profiling and ridiculous. I thought I should let you folks know.

Has anyone ran into a similar problem at Walmart, using a card from BofA or another bank?