woman explains how instacart drivers are scamming people

@whitewidow1313/TikTok sdx15/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘They don’t just steal the groceries’: Former Kroger worker says Instacart driver charged $900 on customer order. It’s a popular scam

‘I can’t tell you how many times I watched someone get legitimately robbed.’


Phil West


Posted on May 30, 2023

A former Kroger worker on TikTok alleges that the Instacart service her store partnered with has been infiltrated by “a bunch of scammers” preying on customers.

The video, from creator @whitewidow1313, has attracted more than 521,000 views since going up this past Wednesday. It begins with a stitch of another clip, in which @thelittlestdragonk asks, “Y’all robbin’ the [people] you delivering groceries to or is it a myth?”

The creator soberly conveys that it’s not a myth, before getting into her allegations, which echoes prior Daily Dot coverage about Instacart shoppers deceiving customers ordering through Kroger.

“I just quit my work from home while working for one of the largest grocery companies in the US,” the creator explains. “One of the only delivery services that we offered was Instacart. I very quickly learned that it’s a bunch of scammers.”

Though she was coy about the chain being Kroger in her video, she confirmed that was indeed the former employer—which has its own app handling grocery delivery—in the comments section of the original video and a follow-up TikTok.

She then conveyed how those who used the app, with orders that should have been in the $100-120 range, actually had them bumped up to $400 or more via substitutions from unscrupulous shoppers.

As she alleges, “So what happens is these Instacart drivers, they don’t just steal the groceries when they are supposed to deliver. They’ll go into the store and they’ll mark all of your items as out of stock, so then they have the option to substitute. So they’ll put all of your items out of stock and then sell it for something that’s not even remotely close to what you ordered. And then you just never get your order.”

@whitewidow1313 #stitch with @Kaida 🐉🌑 #workfromhome #wfh #groceryshopping #groceries #delivery #fypage #foryoupageofficiall2022 #foryoupagethis #foryoupage #fypシ #fypシ゚viral🖤 #fypシ゚viral ♬ Peaches – Jack Black

“I had an elderly lady call me one time and her $120 grocery order turned into over $900 because someone did this to her … and they bought lawn chairs, candles, I mean a plethora of things,” @whitewidow1313 says. “It was nowhere near what she had actually ordered. And it takes seven to 10 business days to get a refund back from this company.”

“So I can’t tell you how many times I would have to watch someone legitimately get robbed,” she continues, “and have to be like, ‘Yeah, ‘you have seven to 10 days until you’re gonna get your money back.'”

One commenter pointed out that choosing the no substitutions option should circumvent this particular scam—leading the creator to record a second video elaborating further.

She explains that Kroger’s app had pickup or delivery as options, and the delivery options were either a store-based one, which she characterized as “hard to get a hold of” as it required scheduling a few days out, or Instacart delivery, which delivered two hours after order placement.

@whitewidow1313 Replying to @Pidged #workfromhome #wfh #groceryshopping #groceries #delivery #fypage #foryoupageofficiall2022 #foryoupagethis #foryoupagethis #fypシ゚viral🖤 #fypシ゚viral ♬ original sound – Black_widow1319

She explained that on the Kroger app, substitutions didn’t need to be approved and that customers are charged whatever the substitution retailed for rather than the original item’s price.

Some commenters attempted to shed more light on the situation.

“The reason the scammers are targeting Kroger is because Kroger does not place a max limit on their online orders,” one offered. “IC does so you can’t do that.”

The creator responded, “Glad you know what you’re talkin bout, lol. People swearin I’m lyin’.”

“It makes a bad name for those of us actually trying to do it for income,” another observed. They just hire anyone these days.”

The commenter noted, “Unfortunately, I’ve been hearing about it for that long, you can see all kinds of stuff on Reddit.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to the creator via TikTok comment and Kroger via email.

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*First Published: May 30, 2023, 10:00 am CDT