A warning about cybersecurity has been issued online for shoppers using popular fast fashion sites like Temu, Shein and Wish.
“Do you know that saying: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is?”
Katie Ring, also known as The Self Defense Girl online, put the question to her followers on TikTok.
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She was responding to a bevy of recent criticism made by customers of Temu, which sells products including home decor, electronics, pet supplies, sports and toys.
A number of people have reported having their bank account hacked, or their details leaked, after purchasing items from Temu.
But no evidence has been found of Temu releasing customers’ details or the site being involved in any data breaches.
7NEWS.com.au has approached Temu for comment.
Warning to customers of popular Australian retailers
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Ring noted the low prices on Temu, saying she personally thinks it’s “too good to be true”.
“It’s going to be a no for me,” Ring said in her viral TikTok.
But she knows many people will still use Temu and other similar platforms anyway, and shared a tip for shopping online.
“Please at least check out with a third-party payment platform like PayPal or Apple Pay,” she said.
“Don’t go entering your debit or credit card information into those forms.”
Katie Ring, known as The Self Defense Girl online, has issued a warning about popular shopping platform Temu. Credit: @the.self.defense.girl/TikTok
Given the rise in credit card scams some people are also experiencing, it can be hard to know who to trust, Ring said.
“If you get fraudulent bank notifications, still check your bank account,” Ring said.
You can also contact your bank to be sure, she said.
Commenters on Ring’s video said they have been using third-party payment platforms for some time, for all shopping where possible, as a result of security concerns.
“I will never buy anything online unless they have PayPal or Apple Pay,” one person said.
The reports about data security are yet another blow to Temu’s reputation, after the US government handed down a report in June saying there is an “extremely high risk” that Temu’s supply chains have used forced labour.
Temu has more than 80,000 suppliers and is the fastest-growing online retail brand in Australia.
The app launched in Australia in April. It is now the eighth-largest online retail brand by audience size, according to Ipsos data, and registered more than 9.2 million users in June.
In March, Temu’s sister app Pinduoduo was suspended by Google after versions offered outside Google’s Play store were found to contain malware.
The malware can bypass users’ mobile phone security, CNN reported.
It can then monitor activities on other apps, check notifications, read private messages and change settings.
Rise in online scams
The online warning comes amid mounting concerns over cybersecurity when shopping.
Australians lost a huge $74 million to online scams last year, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) reports.
It says a website is probably a scam if it:
Sells items at significantly lower prices than usual or when compared to other sites;Has something unusual about the payment method, such as only offering a single payment option or asking for payment via gift cards or Bitcoin;Only includes positive reviews or reviews light on detail;Includes an urgent warning or error message asking you to click a link; andAdvertises a way to make quick, easy money with little or no risk or effort.
Report scams to the ACCC via the report a scam page to help alert others.
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