Published: September 20, 2023 on our newsletter Security Fraud News & Alerts Newsletter.
Temu, the insanely popular Chinese-owned discount marketplace app is creating a stir in the U.S. With help from 50 million+ Americans now onboard, Temu snuck into first place bypassing Amazon, Walmart, and Shein with its global number of app users. And like any app you consider downloading, Temu deserves a closer look first. Not long after Temu’s U.S. launch during last year’s Superbowl, the app came under scrutiny from disillusioned customers and cybersecurity professionals, but for very different reasons.
Concerns over Temu began with user complaints over selling knockoff products and poor customer service, but most alarming may be Temu’s connection to Communist China. The country has a combative history of espionage against the U.S. and Temu collects a ton of user data many know isn’t necessary.
Some of the data nuggets Temu collects include social media accounts, photos, chats and texts, calendars, and everything else stored on your smartphone. The app has no need for this access to work properly, but Temu collects it anyway.
Misleading Products and Exasperating Customer Service
Temu’s U.S. shoppers have learned some of the deals and steals Temu promotes come with a heaping helping of “you get what you pay for.” Customer complaints include bogus product pictures, late or no delivery, mysterious charges, infuriatingly-inept customer service, and a lot more. It’s up to U.S. consumers to decide if Temu’s low, low prices are worth the potential aggravation, financial hijinks, and privacy concerns.
Safe Smartphone App Downloads
Any app you want on your smartphone needs a bit of research before downloading. Google and Apple app stores (or whichever if official for your device) are the safest sources to download from and a good source for user reviews. If you decide to go for it, pay close attention to the process from start to finish. During download, some apps request permissions to device functions they don’t need to work properly, so a good dose of common sense is always recommended.
You may decide the safest version of Temu app is the one that’s deleted from your smartphone or never downloaded to begin with. Either way, you’ll be in good company.
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