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'It's a scam, it's stealing': Phoenix woman received notice that someone picked up her curbside order

Valerie Barnett said she placed an order at a Central Phoenix Walmart and got an email alert that her order had been picked up when she was sick in bed.

PHOENIX — Curbside pickup has really taken off since the start of the pandemic. For some it offers safety, others convenience.

It's something many in the Valley will be doing on Friday, as the mad rush to ensure a merry Christmas is underway.

One Phoenix woman is warning shoppers that she never got her order. 

Valerie Barnett said she purchased $40 dollars worth of food and miscellaneous items at the end of November. 

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She didn't pick it up same day because she came down with a headache. 

Two days later she got an alert from Walmart reading 'your items have been picked up.'

"If someone is going to go and sit in an area and take an order that’s not theirs, knowing it's not theirs, I think it’s a scam," Barnett said. "It's like the person at the airport who waits for everybody to get luggage and whatever is left he picks up and leaves, it's a scam it's stealing."

According to Walmart's website, after a time slot is given, the retailer provides a four-day window for pickup and will hold your items for up to seven days if you're a no-show. 

"They steal your boxes off your front porch like they're not going to sit and watch an order come out, it’s a sad state of affairs when people are stealing like that."

RELATED: Keeping your money safe this holiday season: FBI tips for avoiding scams

After several phone and online customer service exchanges, Barnett was issued a refund. 

She has a word of advice for others:

"If you're going to do an online order, as soon as it's ready go get it don’t wait," she encouraged. "That’s just leaving the door open for anybody to get it, to grab it and you might not be as lucky as me in getting a refund even though Walmart is pretty good about that I think."

Barnett claims customer service told her the items were not placed back on the shelves, as many on social media suggested might have happened. That's what led her to believe this was theft.

She also said her ID was not checked the previous time she did curbside pickup.

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