Is Temu Legit?
Informative Opinions

Is Temu Legit?

Graham C
Graham C

Picture this: a digital marketplace bursting with deals so mind-bogglingly low that your inner hunter-gatherer does a double-take. Temu is the new kid on the e-commerce block making serious waves with its price tags.

Some doubts have been raised about whether or not it's a safe harbor for shoppers to anchor their credit cards? Let's dive into the world of Temu and discover the what, the who, and the "how secure?" of this potentially wallet-friendly wonderland.

What is Temu?

Launched in 2022, Temu has quickly become the sweetheart of savvy online shoppers. Through an app and website, Temu showcases a cornucopia of products from vendors across the globe.

Temu offers everything but the kitchen sink – and you might very well find that too. From gadget knock-offs to home essentials, you'll probably be able to find it on Temu. Those too-good-to-be-true prices have shoppers scratching their heads, wondering "What's the catch"?

Behind the Scenes: Who Operates the Show?

Temu's roots trace back to PDD Holdings, a Chinese heavyweight with a roster of e-commerce platforms like Pinduoduo. They posture themselves as a Boston-based operator, but the truth lies across the Pacific in Shanghai.

While their Temu app is becoming as ubiquitous as morning coffee in the US, whispers of associations with the Chinese Communist Party are enough to arch a few eyebrows. It's worth noting that any business in China that is publicly traded needs to have part of its board comprised of CCP members.

Can We Trust Temu with Our Data?

There's a bit of a tempest swirling around Temu's data collection habits. Reports are surfacing about the app making like a data vacuum cleaner and sucking up more than it needs.

The Temu Controversy

In early 2023, CNN reported that Temu's Parent Company: Pinduoduo (PDD) was leveraging weaknesses in Android operating systems to spy on device data without permission.

Naturally, there was a backlash - Google Play actually delisted Temu for a while and the developers who coded the spyware tools were fired. They all now work at Temu instead of the parent company PDD, as per the CNN report

What Data Does Temu Collect?

The short answer is a lot. The company's Google Play Store entry highlights some of the specific data they're siphoning from your device in addition to the normal data required for app functionality. Additional personal data includes:

  • Your essentials: Name, address, phone number, and oh, those precious payment details.
  • Your multimedia library: Photos and videos included

Is Temu Safe?

For starters, it is yet to earn its stripes from the Better Business Bureau, which is regarded as the hallmark of trust in the retail universe.

There's also the issue of scammers or people selling knockoffs. Some products masquerade as familiar tech brands, yet only a select few are genuine. Be on the lookout for a blue tick beside a product, that is your cue that you're in authentic territory.

How To Safely Shop On Temu

To ensure a safe shopping experience using Temu, be sure to adhere to the following guidelines:

Evaluate user reviews with a grain of salt: Exercise a degree of caution with vendors who have a limited number of reviews. Regardless of how positive these reviews might seem, it's advisable to opt for sellers with a substantial amount of favorable feedback. Also, be sure to look at the actual reviews themselves. There's a possibility of encountering fake or misleading reviews, especially now that AI-powered bots are a thing.

Be cautious with high-ticket purchases: Temu is known for its competitive pricing rather than the quality of its products. It's wiser to make small purchases, such as an inexpensive water bottle or a budget-friendly pair of shoes, rather than investing in high-ticket items like a new gaming console, which poses a greater risk.

Secure your account: Use robust passwords for any online account, particularly those involving financial transactions. A strong password should be at least 10 characters long and include a mix of numbers, letters, and symbols to ensure the security of your data and minimize the risk of identity theft.

Opt for secure payment methods: Avoid directly providing your card details to Temu. Instead, use a reputable third-party payment platform like PayPal for transactions, or consider using one-time virtual cards offered by some banks. These methods offer enhanced security by preventing your card details from being directly exposed to vendors.

Stay informed about the company: Given that Temu is a relatively new player in the market, it's crucial to stay informed about its background, ownership, technical infrastructure, and data collection practices. Keep an eye on the latest news regarding the company to be aware of any controversies or negative developments. Staying informed is a key aspect of maintaining cyber hygiene.

Using Windscribe while browsing Temu can help minimize the risk of accidental data exposure. It can't protect you from overspending on things you don't need though, that can only be fixed by you!

Graham C
Graham C