Walmart on Monday said that an external actor created false accounts on its site using offensive language, which resulted in inappropriate emails being sent to users.
The actor signed up individuals for fake Walmart accounts using a racial slur where a person is asked to enter his or her name, so when the company emailed with a generic welcome message it was addressed using the offensive language instead of the individual’s first name.
The recipients are believed to be people who were not previously signed up with the company.
A spokesperson for the company said that it was "shocked and appalled" to see the "offensive and unacceptable emails."
"We’re looking into our sign up process to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again," the spokesperson said in a statement. "We’re also looking into all available means to hold those responsible accountable."
It was not immediately clear how many people received the emails containing offensive language or where the actor obtained the email addresses from. But Walmart said it was clear that the actor intended to offend the company's customers.
Walmart’s systems were not breached, nor was company information stolen during the event.