Following the fake news of its partnership with Litecoin, Walmart Inc. says it is looking into how the fraudulent press release was issued. The Litecoin Foundation and Charlie Lee are also investigating the matter. In addition, Globenewswire says it will also work with authorities “to request – and facilitate – a full investigation, including into any criminal activity associated with this matter.”
Walmart Responds to Fake News of Its Partnership With Litecoin
The retail giant issued a press release in response to the fake news of its partnership with Litecoin Monday. “Walmart was the subject of a fake news release issued on Monday, Sept. 13, that falsely stated Walmart announced a partnership with Litecoin (LTC),” the company wrote, adding:
Walmart had no knowledge of the press release issued by Globenewswire, and it is incorrect. Walmart has no relationship with Litecoin.
Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove told CNBC that the retailer has been in touch with the newswire company to investigate how the false press release got posted.
Globenewswire took down the fake press release late Monday and issued a “notice to disregard” across its service. The company also said that it has put in place enhanced authentication steps to prevent a similar incident from occurring in the future.
The press release distribution company declared:
We will work with the appropriate authorities to request – and facilitate – a full investigation, including into any criminal activity associated with this matter.
Many major news outlets ran the fake story, including Reuters and CNBC. This led to an instant spike in the price of litecoin (LTC). However, the gains were quickly wiped out when Walmart denied the news.
Meanwhile, the Litecoin Foundation, a non-profit organization that promotes the cryptocurrency, issued a statement on the matter. The foundation is run by litecoin creator Charlie Lee, who serves as its managing director.
“We have no information as to where this idea or the release to the press originated,” the foundation wrote, confirming that it “has not entered into a partnership with Walmart of any kind.” It further noted that the quotes in the press release did not come from Lee.
Lee told Reuters in an email that the hoax was being investigated but little headway had been made. The Litecoin creator added that he currently owned only five LTC and had little incentive to issue the fake announcement himself.
He also commented on Litecoin’s verified Twitter handle (@litecoin) sharing the fake announcement. The tweet was deleted a few hours after Walmart denied the news. Lee admitted:
It was our mistake for retweeting using @litecoin. We will make sure to have stricter controls on our social media accounts so that something like this doesn’t happen again.
Who do you think is behind this fake Walmart-Litecoin partnership news? Let us know in the comments section below.